In the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak in Madagascar | 07 February 2020
Public Health Authority issues new travel advisory
The global outbreak of novel coronavirus has had over 20,000 confirmed cases in 23 countries. Most of these are scattered across China but mainly Hubei Province. Out of the countries with confirmed cases, six have had travel history to China. And, new cases continue to be registered daily in China despite strict measures put in place.
In consideration of the situation and possible impact on Seychelles, the Public Health Authority is issuing the following update to the travel advisory:
● Seychellois and non-Seychellois residing in Seychelles are advised not to travel to China, including the Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of China until further notice.
● Local trade partners are advised to give all visitors from China, including the SAR, who were planning to visit the Seychelles in the coming months, the opportunity to cancel or postpone their holiday at no cost.
● All foreign workers who are presently in China and were planning to return to Seychelles are advised to postpone their return travel until further notice.
● All airlines with flights bound for Seychelles are advised not to board any passengers or crew members (except returning Seychellois nationals and residents) who have been to China or the SAR in the last 14 days.
● Any person arriving in Seychelles by sea (except returning Seychellois nationals and residents) will not be allowed to disembark if he/she has been to China, including the SAR in the last 14 days.
● All returning residents who have been to China, including the SAR of China and any other countries where there has been significant local transmission will be put under obligatory quarantine at the Military Academy in Perseverance for 14 days upon arrival.
The Public Health Authority continues to reinforce the other measures in place locally and a summary of those are:
• Intensified surveillance at ports of entry
• Active and passive surveillance of all passengers arriving from China
• Establishment of quarantine facilities
• Alerts to all medical services including case definition
• Importation of Lab supplies and linkages with reference labs and procurement of testing kits
• Inventory and replenishing of PPEs
• Activation of various Standard Operating Procedures
• Treatment facility preparedness and protocol
• Safe waste management processes and procedures
• Refresher training in infection prevention and control
• Risk communication and community engagement team activated
• Press release/ Press briefings/ Live programme on broadcast media
• Travel advisories
• WHO local office engagement and briefing
• Social media engagement to disseminate information and dispel rumours and misinformation.
Furthermore, the Public Health Authority also continues to reinforce these general travel measures for travellers to other countries to adopt:
• avoid crowded places and close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness;
• observe good personal hygiene;
• practice frequent hand washing with soap (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing);
• wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough or runny nose;
• avoid contact with live animals and consumption of raw and undercooked meats;
• cover your mouth with a tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and dispose the soiled tissue paper in the rubbish bin immediately and wash hands or use alcohol based hand sanitisers;
• all travellers should monitor their health closely for two weeks upon return to Seychelles and seek medical attention promptly if feeling unwell, and also inform their doctor of their travel history;
• if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose), you should wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of the visit.
Source: Department of Health