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Coronavirus outbreak | 03 February 2020

Coronavirus outbreak

President Faure during the meeting on Saturday with members of the Rapid Response Team (Photo: Joena Meme)

President Faure briefed on Seychelles’ preparedness


• The two Seychellois students in Wuhan to be repatriated home after quarantine in another country


President Danny Faure has been briefed on the various measures being put in place in Seychelles to handle the coronavirus epidemic if ever it spreads into the country.

This was during a meeting President Faure held on Saturday with members of the Department of Health Emergency Operation Centre (Rapid Response Team) under the leadership of the Public Health Commissioner, Dr Jude Gedeon, at the Seychelles Hospital .

The meeting was attended by the newly appointed secretary of state for Health, Marie-Pierre Lloyd, and 16 other members.

The aim of the meeting was for the Rapid Response Team members to formally brief the President, who is also assuming the responsibility of Minister for Health as of Saturday, on the various measures being implemented in relation to the international outbreak of the coronavirus.

“It was a special meeting of the Emergency Operation Committee which comprises 16 people. They are the leaders and co-leaders on the preparedness team that is gearing up for the potential response in case of an introduction of the coronavirus in Seychelles. They are in systematic areas such as main coordination group, port-health, surveillance, risk communication and community engagement, logistics and case management in infection and prevention and control. The President gave the chance to each of these leaders to explain what is being done and put forward the issues they are facing and of course we are not saying everything is perfect but we are constantly preparing and improving on the system that we have,” explained Dr Gedeon.

“Our main objective is, if we do get a case in Seychelles, to detect it as early as possible and manage it appropriately so that it can break the chain of transmission effectively to prevent spreading. And we are not sparing any energy in our effort to put our human and material resources in this. We have a commitment also to our head of State, who is also our health minister,” Dr Gedeon added.

The meeting focused on actions being undertaken in line with the department of health’s outbreak response plan initiated based on existing guidelines and specialised areas for response during a public health emergency.

Discussions also centred on some of the key challenges being encountered and identification of areas of assistance the government can provide to the department of health to further boost their level of preparedness should the country be faced with a case of coronavirus.

Following discussions, the President thanked and commended the health officials for their hard work, recognising their task is very challenging given the dynamic, unpredictable nature of the situation.

He said that the government appreciates their continued engagement as health professionals who are committed to protecting and caring for the citizens.

Meanwhile Dr Gedeon has also announced that measures are being taken to evacuate the two Seychellois students from Wuhan.

“We are receiving the assistance of a friendly state for this repatriation to happen. Once in that country, they will be monitored in quarantine for 14 days and then will travel to Seychelles. After the quarantine time, there is no possibility for them to have the virus”.


Update on coronavirus

So far the department of health in Seychelles has not recorded any cases of the coronavirus however the various prevention measures have been heightened to minimise the possibility of any cases occurring as well as being fully prepared should the eventuality arise.

Dr Gedeon once again stressed on the fact that “right now we do not have any suspected case in Seychelles and there is nobody under surveillance. The Ministry of Health maintains the travel advisories issued on Friday night”.


Vidya Gappy

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