‘Seychelles is the most prepared country in Africa to fight COVID-19’ | 11 March 2020
“Seychelles is the most prepared country in Africa to detect and to take actions against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).”
The statement was made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) country representative for Seychelles, Dr Teniin Gakuruh, after having had discussion on the issue yesterday morning with President Danny Faure in his capacity as the Minister for Health and the head of state who heads emergency operation centres during a crisis.
Also present in the discussion was the secretary of state for health, Marie-Pierre Lloyd.
In the wake of the global spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), especially now that the virus has affected one third of the African continent close to us, Dr Gakuruh said that it’s evident that we might be the next target but pray that though with such capacity in place, such eventuality will not enter our shores.
Dr Gakuruh commended Seychelles for its preparedness especially now that a response plan has been finalised which WHO is supporting while it awaits endorsement by cabinet.
She said that Seychelles was the first country to have the ability to test for the virus because of the already available good capacity in the country.
In the event that the virus does enter the country, Dr Gakuruh stressed on the importance to contain the virus as quickly as possible to prevent it from spreading, which she claimed is now part of the new response mechanism by the Ministry of Health.
“So all they needed was re-agents and training and that has happened. So Seychelles is in the forefront on those ends,” Dr Gakuruh said, noting that training has been an ongoing process in addition to the setting up of isolation facilities among other measures thus ensuring sufficient capacity to deal with the virus.
Dr Gakuruh said that WHO has standard operating procedures (SOPs) at global and regional level to assist countries in difficulties in relation to COVID-19.
She stated that WHO does not recommend Seychelles to lock its borders but has to only strengthen its surveillance while continuing business as usual.
She noted that shutting down borders has a lot of “ramifications” (unwelcome consequences).