Students arriving from abroad will need to complete quarantine: HPA

Covid-19
Rapid Response Team (RRT) operating in Male' City to conduct COVID-19 tests. | Photo: Fayaz Moosa.

Male’, Maldives – Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Friday, has announced that students returning to Maldives from abroad will have to undergo quarantine.

HPA said that among those arriving to Maldives from abroad, those enrolled at local schools, colleges and universities will need to complete a mandatory home quarantine of ten days. They will be released from quarantine once a PCR test taken upon completion of the quarantine period shows a negative result, said HPA. The new measure is to take effect from Monday onwards

Those arriving to Maldives from abroad are currently required to have a negative PCR test taken less than 96 hours before time of departure. HPA is strengthening precautionary measures against COVID-19 while a new, more transmissible strain of the virus is spreading in the United Kingdom. According to scientists, the new strain is upto 70 percent more transmissible than the original virus. The new variant has now been discovered in 21 countries.

Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has recently said that the new variant of the virus has a high chance of reaching Maldives as well since it has now been found in neighbouring countries, India and Pakistan as well. Health officials urge the public to remain more vigilant and adhere to the safety precautions in order to prevent a second outbreak in Maldives which may result in great losses. Speaking at a press conference, Dr.Nazla Mustafa said that if the mutated virus reaches a country such as Maldives where the healthcare system is weak, the country will have to face huge challenges, said the doctor.

Local travelers and work visa holders who have been in the UK 14 days prior to their arrival in Maldives, and those who have spent at least 12 hours in transit at a UK airport are now required to complete a ten day quarantine period. PCR tests will be carried out between five to ten days from their date of arrival.