The Fight Against Covid19 in Maldives Fast Becoming an Urgent Plea

For the past year and a half, great aspects of our lives have been forced to change in order to accommodate the ‘new normal’ during the world pandemic. Early on, fear of the unknown set in when COVID19 was first traced in the Maldives. Followed by a national lockdown, we remained indoors, washed our hands, sent out orders online, checked up on each other religiously. However, as time passed, it started becoming routine and boring.  

People started to ‘learn’ how to live with Covid. Simple measures such as masking up soon started becoming a fashion trend and the tempting outside was the answer to the economic and social unrest that built up amid the restrictive safety measures being imposed by respective health authorities. What people failed to understand, however, was the fact that the measures were put in place to curb the spread and flatten the curve, not make lives difficult for anyone.  

It took an uncontrollable week of deaths, record-breaking positive cases and a final stretch of exhausted medical professionals to awaken a negligent community to once again obediently keep our differences aside and make a patriotic effort on an individual level.  

As I am writing this article, the second update of the Covid19 death less than 2 hours apart has been announced. This strikes 86 recorded deaths in the Maldives, 12 of them last week alone. The past 24 hours will also be noted into history for reporting over 1000 positive cases in Maldives, a new record statistic. The majority of the cases, almost 3 out of every 5 samples taken, are from the Greater Male’ Region but concerns are rising over the worsening status of more islands notifying mass spreads. In a geographically isolated island nation, this further challenges the rate at which emergency medical help can be distributed efficiently between the islands.  

It was once thought that COVID19 only adversely affected the elderly but according to the latest statistics, 40% of the admitted patients in the ICUs are younger than 40 years old. The severity of the new cases with possible new strains causing more destructive damage, an increasing number of patients are expected to be hospitalized in the coming times. Over 80% of the hospital beds allocated for Covid treatment are currently occupied.  

An even more scary fact, an average of 80 children below the age of 10 years have been testing positive every day in the past week. In a span of 2 weeks, almost 4x more people who visit flu clinics in Greater Male' area are found to be positive.  

If there was ever a time to be scared of COVID19, this is it. Government authorities have been pleading with citizens to obey the restrictive measures that are being continuously announced and revised. If we don’t act now, the fast-spreading news of countries hitting rock bottom in the face of the pandemic will soon be about the Maldives experiencing a similar and more vital fate.