Last Friday, the government has sent two Italian tourists in quarantine facilities back to their country in a Russian airline before their results got back. While they were on the flight, the government declared the results as positive which caused the flight to be quarantined in a Russian airport.
According to the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP), tourists with high risk are supposed to be in quarantine facilities for 14 days and tests are to be done twice. However, these two tourists who were in contact with two positive patients in ‘Island Safari 1’, were sent back to their country before their results came back. This has risked the lives of many as the plane they were traveling was also carrying more than 300 passengers.
Some of the local news agencies are now questioning why were they sent back when they were quarantined on 17th March and according to the SOP they should have been quarantined for 14 days, thus the end of their quarantine should be 31st March.
To this government’s spokesperson, Mohamed Mabrook Azzez stated that quarantine days were being counted from the day ‘Island Safari 1’ was reported to carry two symptomatic passengers. Thus their quarantine period ends on the 27th of March.
Thus the day they were sent back was the last day of their quarantine period.
However, according to the SOP, they were supposed to wait till they get the results back. But they didn’t, thus HPA and government need to further review and implement as stated in the SOP.
Director of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru has stated that this was a good lesson for them to take the right steps in the future.
After the first case of COVID-19, the government has been taking necessary measures and has efficiently handled all other cases of COVID-19. Thus, why didn’t the government take the right steps in this case? Why were they sent before the results, risking the lives of many?