The Ministry of Law and Gender says that a patient remains missing from the Specials Needs Home in Kaafu Guraidhoo.
After a 28-year-old patient went missing on Friday evening, search efforts now include security services, the island council and the coast guard, Deputy Minister Mohamed Zahid told media.
Guraidhoo Island Council member Ali Shameem said it was unlikely the man had gone through the main entrance, which is normally closed and watched. He speculated that the patient may have climbed one of the trees within the compound to get over the high fence.
The ministry announced earlier this year that the government had plans to turn the home into a mental health institute, with centre’s elderly and mentally ill residents provided with separate facilities.
Employees at the facility – which currently homes around 167 patients – have described the facility as under-resourced, with too few staff to provide proper care, and psychiatric patients not allowed the opportunity for rehabilitation.
“The people are suffering here,” one staff member told Minivan News last month, “the management is not good”.