COVID-19 update - Luxury resort in quarantine | 20 March 2020
Health department revises criteria for quarantine
By Elsie Pointe
The luxury Four Seasons Resort Seychelles is no longer taking reservations for the next two weeks as the department of health yesterday placed the hotel establishment, located in Baie Lazare, in quarantine.
In a press interview yesterday, the chief executive of the Health Care Agency, Dr Danny Louange, explained that the hotel is under strict instructions to restrict the movements of its staff and clients after two of its employees, a Ukrainian and a Mauritian, were tested positive for COVID-19.
To clarify, these two new COVID-19 cases were initially reported to be two Ukrainians but this was later corrected to be a Ukrainian and a Mauritian.
They are presently at the isolation centre in Anse Royale alongside four other confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Around 70 guests and 40 employees at Four Seasons have been sealed off inside the hotel while medical officers undertake its contact tracing investigations.
The resort’s management has advised guests to remain in their villas.
Meanwhile, other employees of the resort who are reporting for their shifts are also unable to enter the resort’s grounds until the contact tracing exercise concludes.
“We have asked the hotel not to let anyone leave or come into the hotel until we are done with our investigation,” Dr Louange clarified yesterday.
“Contact tracing is basically the exercise we do to map and understand who are the high risks contacts and who are low risks. We map to understand the magnitude of contact with the COVID-19 patients.”
This exercise started late Wednesday March 18, after the two employees were confirmed positive, and it continued throughout the day yesterday.
“We also have reports of Seychellois staff who left the hotel before we sent out the instructions for the resort but we have asked them to self quarantine and we are working closely with the management of the hotel,” Dr Louange added.
The department of health has also announced a revision in the criteria used to quarantine people and will now be encouraging home quarantines.
As per this revision, Seychellois residents arriving from overseas are to be quarantined at home with appropriate follow-up from surveillance team with the support of law enforcement.
Persons with COVID-19 symptoms such as fever or whose homes are not ideal for self-quarantine will however have to go into quarantine at Perseverance.
This new measure was applied to a group of 15 Seychellois residents who arrived back in the country yesterday, some of them had fever.
Four of these returning residents were retained at the Perseverance Family Hospital.
Dr Louange yesterday further confirmed that the crew members onboard a British Airways flight which came into the country yesterday morning were allowed into the country even though there is a travel ban on travellers from United Kingdom, excluding returning Seychellois.
He noted that the crew members were only allowed to go their hotel under strict instructions to stay in their rooms and self-quarantine.
As of the last update received from the department of health on Wednesday March 18, Seychelles has recorded a total of six COVID-19 cases and they are all receiving treatment at the isolation centre.
The department of health noted however that the condition of the Dutch man who was tested positive on Sunday has deteriorated as he is encountering some respiratory complications.
There are also two Germans who were tested yesterday as potential COVID-19 cases.
A total of 13 persons are in quarantine at Perseverance
Meanwhile, contact tracing exercises has recorded 117 contacts for the new cases and they are being followed up.