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It's time to consider a lockdown: Dr. Sheena

Public Health Expert, Dr. Sheena Moosa has stated that if additional steps are not taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the number of deaths will increase drastically.

Speaking during a program on Raajje TV, the doctor said that based on recent trajectories we need to consider whether the Maldivian healthcare system will be overwhelmed or not. She noted that within the past week, 62% of COVID-19 treatment beds in Male' region had been filled up.

"Technically, if I am speaking as a public health expert it's time for a lockdown. But due to the socio-economic situations, how can this be balanced, can it be managed without going for a lockdown?" the doctor said.

Dr. Sheena further highlighted that the overwhelming number of deaths in other countries is due to the fact that the healthcare systems in those countries are exhausted from a sudden spike in new cases, which leaves no doctors or nurses free to attend to newly infected patients.

"In our situation, we are only talking about the number of beds. We don't publicly say that there are less doctors and nurses. In normal circumstances, there is 1 nurse for every 5 beds, however, right now there is 1 nurse for 30 beds. You can think of how the quality of care will be affected by this. There is also a very real shortage of doctors as well," she added.

She stressed that a lockdown will greatly help in controlling the spread of the virus.