Police investigating staff death at W Retreat and Spa property

Police have confirmed investigations are continuing into the death of a male member of staff at the W Retreat and Spa Maldives resort this morning – with preliminary findings suggesting the man passed away of natural causes.

Police Spokesperson Hassan Haneef confirmed that police were notified by the resort this morning that a 55 year-old Indian national who worked as a chef at the North Ari Atoll property had been found dead.

”His body was found dead inside his room at about 3:45am,” Haneef said. ”The body was then taken to South Ari Atoll Mahibadhoo Hospital.”

Haneef added that according to the doctor on duty at the hospital, the chef appeared to have died of natural causes.  Haneef stressed that police were still investigating the case before confirming the cause of death.

W Maldives

In a statement, W Retreat and Spa Maldives, which is operated by the Starwood Hotels brand, confirmed that a male staff member had passed away today.

“The hotel team immediately contacted emergency services and local authorities requesting assistance at the resort. Local authorities are investigating the case currently,” the company stated.

“W Retreat & Spa Maldives is extremely saddened by what has transpired and would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased.”

As resort management were continuing to work with local authorities over the case, W said it was not able to comment further at present over the possible cause of death.

“The safety and security of our staff and guests continues to be a priority at all times,” the company added.

While unrelated to today’s incident,  Indian nationals working in the country have been at the forefront of several high-profile police investigations over the last two weeks.

High profile cases

Late last month, an Indian national working in a local resort was attacked with a hammer and mugged while in Male’ city – allegedly by a former employee of the resort he worked in.

The victim, identified by India’s Express News Service as 24 year-old Ramakrishnan Sadanandan from Thiruvananthapuram, was reportedly attacked at 2:30pm on March 31 while staying in a local guest house.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, police confirmed investigations were taking place into the suicide of a 39 year-old Indian national whilst he was in custody at Dhoonidhoo.  The exact details of the suicide were being looked into by police.

However, the case prompted Indian High Commissioner Dynaneshwar Mulay on Friday to raise concerns over the general treatment of Indian expatriates in the Maldives by the country’s police and judiciary in particular.


Conflicting reports of dengue alert issued by Health Ministry

State Health Minister Abdul Bari Abdulla was unable to confirm whether the ministry had issued dengue alert today.

Earlier today, Haveeru reported that the Health ministry had issued a warning over a recurring dengue outbreak in the Maldives. Hospitals have seen an increase in the number of reported and admitted dengue cases over the last three weeks.

The report stated that heavy rains are sustaining mosquito breeding activities, and that Maldivians should be aware of the increased risk of contracting the illness.

An outbreak in July made 2011 the worst year for dengue fever on record with 11 fatalities since January.

A task force headed by Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Abdullah Nazeer, was appointed to handle the outbreak. The Ministry of Health did not assume control of the situation for a week after the outbreak began.

At the time, Dr Nazeer told Minivan News that the government faced two obstacles in its response to the outbreak.

“Number one is a lack of proper communication between the Health Ministry and local councils,” he said. “The second was that they did not have the capacity to resolve the issues.”

In 2006, dengue claimed ten lives. This year’s earlier outbreak fatality rate surpassed that record when a 22-year old man died in late July. A 37-year old Indian national also died of dengue fever that month.

The ministry said 2421 cases were reported in August this year, Haveeru reports.