Schools closed over dengue outbreak

Following an outbreak of dengue fever, the government has closed schools until further notice. At least two people have died from dengue this week.

Speaking at a press conference of a high-level task force formed to control the spread of the mosquito-borne disease, education minister Dr Aishath Shiham said schools are being shut down temporarily to ensure the safety of students.

Special classes will be organised for grade 10 students to prepare for their O’ Level exams in October.

A pregnant 18-year-old woman died of dengue fever at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital on Friday night while a migrant worker died in Gaaf Alif Kooddoo last week.

A seven-month old infant who showed symptoms of dengue-fever died at Baa Atoll Eydhafushi today.

Meanwhile, some 1900 people sought treatment for a flu this week alone. The symptoms of the flu include diarrhea and vomiting.

A relatively severe outbreak of dengue in 2011 saw a record high 12 deaths.

Health minister Iruthisham Adam told the press today that the government’s efforts were geared towards preventing an outbreak of similar proportions.

Compared to the 2011 outbreak, the health minister said the spread of the disease this year has been “manageable” due to proactive preventive measures.

In addition to mosquito fogging in Malé and the atolls, Iruthisham said the government is launching a nationwide clean-up programme, and appealed for participation at the household and community levels.

Arrangements have been made to provide treatment for dengue fever at the government-run Dhamana Veshi urban primary health centre, the police ‘Noosandha’ clinic, and the Senahiya military clinic, she said.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has meanwhile launched a 24-hour ‘dengue hotline’ and urged the public to call or text 7548221 for information.

Housing minister Dr Mohamed Muiz said the ministry is scaling up its cleaning efforts to eliminate mosquito breeding sites from construction sites.

An additional tug boat will begin operations today to improve waste management services in the capital, he added.

Home minister Umar Naseer appealed for cooperation from councils, clubs and communities in islands with the government’s programmes.

Earlier this month, HPA issued an alert warning of the spread of dengue and viral fever across the country and advised precautionary measures to control mosquito breeding during the rainy season.

The agency advised the public to empty stagnant water from containers, throw trash into dustbins, and keep containers sealed to prevent water from accumulating.

The HPA also advised wearing clothes that hide the skin, using mosquito repellants, and keeping doors and windows closed during dawn and dusk.

The agency has stressed the importance of cleanliness and hygiene to prevent the spread of the disease and advised seeking medical assistance if a fever persists for more than three days.

Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.


One thought on “Schools closed over dengue outbreak”

  1. We appreciate HPA and other authorities for the efforts to control mosquito infestation.

    I live in Hulhumale and sorry to say, as much as there are high level task force to combat this problem, it is fair to say words don't change, actions do! HDC and HPA have totally failed in the practical efforts to control breeding areas by enforcing strict measures for the public as well as its inspectors.
    1) China Town as its known, is one hell of a breeding arena. Almost 70% of the apartments have 1-3 air condition units and below the compressors you find either 5ltr empty water bottles or buckets beneath used to collect dripping water which apparently someone has lied to people that its good for farming. We must be reminded that Aedes Mosquito in Maldives will breed in fresh water either rain or MWSC, not in dirty puddles on construction sites.
    2) These mosquitoes lay their eggs in soil and can live up to a year waiting for just a bit of water to trigger the process. Once again China Town has become a farm for chillies, cabbage, and other vegetables all grown in cooking oil yellow buckets filled with cow dung, soil and other fertilizers. The owners water the plants twice a day and with recent rains, these buckets are flooded.
    3) Construction sites and road repairs are part of this mosquito problem. Newly built concrete slabs are flooded with water for days, containers lying around filled with rain water and piping on roads near Dinemore has left huge holes now filled with fresh rain water.

    1. Not one HDC, HPA, FDA, Police or MNDF inspector or personnel has made an inspection of the flats. Inspection where they meet tenants and advice them on how they can avoid breeding mosquitoes in the 'illegal farms' they have created. Collecting water, storing water in open buckets, etc are issues not addressed at all!!
    2. FDA, Agriculture or MNDF have taken a blind eye on the use and abuse of pesticides and chemicals. The vegetables and chillies grown in these flats are constantly sprayed with toxic chemicals that affect the neighborhood. These contaminated vegetables end up on food plates of many houses. Did the government ever thought of having a medical survey countrywide to check effects of pesticides to the health of many as we are having many unexplained illnesses even among young energetic youths!

    Pack a bike at the wrong place and you get fined Rf250-750. Has it reduced any accidents or improved discipline in people?? NOO. How about plant vegetables in front of a public apartment, dirty the pace with bags full of cow shit, coconuts, wood, attracting rodents and other pests. Leave open containers and let mosquitoes breed which lead to dengue and KILL children and even adults. The people doing this are NOT FINED but left to indirectly kill others in the name of farming.

    Whats the logic??

    The government must be strict with people and peoples activities that endanger others lives. Take an example of singapore with rules on contraction companies on how to maintain their areas. Having high level meetings spending so much in facilities conferences, etc…GET OUT to the streets to the islands and inspect physically, advice people, fine them if needed and set rules that must be observed.

    Not to forget condolences to the family of the deceased and those suffering just because people are careless and authorities take no notice. God bless.


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