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News in brief: drug routes and swallowed lego

A lego piece was removed from a child’s lungs.



Customs reveals drug trafficking routes

The Maldives Customs Service on Sunday published a map showing the origin and routes of drugs seized between 2013 and 2018. The illicit narcotics were smuggled via sea and air, including the postal service from 21 countries in four continents, according to customs.

“Where there is access to trade, so are potential for drugs squeezing through. We shall remain watchful and steadfast,” customs tweeted.

In 2018, customs seized 32kg of drugs in 83 cases. Heroin and hashish oil (a liquid extract of cannabis) are the most commonly used drugs in the Maldives, but LSD, ecstasy and other synthetic drugs have been found in recent years.

Lego piece removed from child’s lungs

Doctors at the government-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital successfully removed a piece of lego from the lungs of a six-year-old child.

Expat stabbed in attempted mugging

Photo from @Fayaz_Moosa on Twitter

An expatriate man was injured in a failed mugging attempt in the Maafanu ward of the capital Malé around noon on Sunday.

The foreign national sustained shallow cuts on his back and the little finger on his right hand, police said. Witnesses told local media that four people on two motorbikes tried to rob the man at knifepoint and fled the scene after leaving their vehicles.

Health services connected through one network

Government-run hospitals, health centres, clinics and pharmacies have been connected through a standardised national health network.

The use of the Vinavi software on all local islands was launched on Sunday morning at a ceremony at the Laamu Gan regional hospital by Health Minister Abdulla Ameen. In his remarks, Ameen said information gathered through the portal would also assist with policy making.

The ‘Vinavi’ portal designed by the government’s Aasandha Company brings together all health care service providers within the universal health insurance scheme onto one platform. According to Aasandha, the portal enables “less paperwork, greater efficiency and improved quality of service” and allows for “the reliable capture, storage and management of information related to the healthcare of scheme beneficiaries.”

According to state media, Aasandha assistant managing director Ibrahim Rasheed said work is ongoing to digitalise health services to store all information from making a memo to the discharge of a patient. The company is working on storing x-ray and MRI reports through the Vivani application, he added.

Galufalhu picnic island project scrapped

The government has scrapped a project to develop a picnic island for residents of the congested capital by reclaiming a lagoon.

The state-owned Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation planned to  reclaim seven hectares from the Galufalhu lagoon near Malé during the previous administration. In March 2017, MITDC sought expressions of interest and offered as an incentive a 50-year lease to develop a tourist resort on a portion of the reclaimed island.

But Galufalhu has now been taken back from MITDC, Tourism Minister Ali Waheed told the press on Saturday night.

Last month, seven companies were contracted to develop a picnic island for Malé residents on the Emboodhoo lagoon near the capital which was reclaimed for the Crossroads integrated resort project. The seven companies, which are developing resorts on the nine artificial islands, are developing the picnic island as a corporate social responsibility project.

Weekly police statistics

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