ICU beds in Dharumavantha Hospital fill up with COVID-19 patients

Dharumavantha Hospital. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) announced on Tuesday that DH11 - the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) designated for COVID-19 patients at the Dharumavantha Hospital in Male’ - is operating at maximum capacity, as Maldives battles with its worst surge in COVID-19 infections yet.

In a press conference by HEOC on Tuesday night, President’s spokesperson Mabrook Azeez said that there are nine patients in the DH11 ICU, six of whom are being treated on ventilators.

“One of the greatest concerns we have today is the limited medical facilities we have to treat patients. Total 200 patients are currently hospitalized. Six of the patients are on ventilators at DH11 of Dharumavantha Hospital. The Dharumavantha Hospital’s ICU is practically full. This is something of great concern,” he said.

Maldives has been experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks – both in the capital and in residential islands outside the capital. The country recorded 601 new cases this Tuesday – the highest single-day spike the country has recorded to date. 440 of the cases were from the capital.

The alarming surge in cases has prompted Health Protection Agency (HPA) to impose additional restrictions in the capital, including a 00:00-04:00 ban on vehicular traffic, and suspension of face-to-face classes in schools.

Government offices have been closed, public parks and sports arenas have been closed, and the travel eases allowed for fully vaccinated individuals have been suspended.

Meanwhile, Maldives’ promising vaccination campaign has suffered a setback due to the depletion of its stock of Covishield vaccine, prompting authorities to suspend the administration of the vaccine. HPA announced this Tuesday they expect to receive a new shipment of Covishield in two weeks.

Though Maldives has suspended the administration of Covishield vaccine, it continues to administer Sinopharm vaccine and Pfizer vaccine.

According to statistics released by HPA, 297,639 people have received their first dose since the vaccination campaign was launched in February – making for 67 percent of the eligible population, and  108,494 people have received their second dose – making for 24.5 percent of the eligible population.