No new positive cases of COVID-19 in three days | 23 March 2020
Seychelles has not recorded any new cases of coronavirus in the last three days as the number of positive cases stands at seven since Thursday last week.
All seven people – three Seychellois, two Dutch, a Mauritian and a Ukrainian – who have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) are receiving treatment at the isolation Centre at the Family Hospital. All patients remain stable except one who is in critical condition.
Seychelles confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus on Saturday March 11, 2020 and they were two citizens who had returned from Italy. A third Seychellois who had not travelled became the seventh positive case on Thursday March 19, 2020.
Meanwhile, members of the public who have family members arriving in the country are being urged to call 141 in advance to provide the family member’s following details:
• Name and surname
• Flight number and date of arrival
• Address in Seychelles
According to the health department, this will enable public health officers to do necessary home visit in advance to assess whether the home is appropriate or not for home quarantine.
In response to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) which is not slowing and described as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Seychellois authorities have introduced a number of precautionary measures to limit the spread of the virus.
Revised travel measures:
- All Seychelles citizens and residents are banned from travelling abroad, effective as of today, Monday March 23, 2020, for a period of 30 days.
With immediate effect
- All foreign workers holding a GOP are not allowed to return until further notice. No new GOPs are to be issued.
- All Seychellois nationals who are presently in countries which have imposed a ban on international travel are strongly advised to comply with local preventive measures, including social distancing, being implemented in those particular countries and to avoid any travel or other movement that increases their risk of getting infected.
- Any passenger who has been to ANY country in Europe and including the French departments of Reunion and Mayotte, the United States of America and Australia in the last 14 days (except returning Seychellois citizens) will NOT be allowed to enter Seychelles.
- In the event that a person who has been to ANY country in Europe (as defined by the annexed list, and including the French departments of Reunion and Mayotte), the United States of America and Australia in the last 14 days (except returning Seychellois citizens) arrives in Seychelles, he/she will not be allowed entry and the carrier airline or vessel will be responsible for the immediate return of the passenger.
- All returning Seychellois citizens from China, including the SAR, South Korea, Iran and any country in Europe (as defined by the annexed list, and including the French departments of Reunion and Mayotte), the United States of America, and Australia will be placed under obligatory quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
- All arriving passengers will be subjected to additional health screening upon arrival and may be subjected to quarantine.
- All airlines with inbound flights for Seychelles, are directed not to board any passengers or crew (except returning Seychellois citizens) who have been to China (including the SAR), South Korea, Iran, Europe (as defined by the annexed list, and including the French departments of Reunion and Mayotte), the United States of America and Australia.
- Any person arriving in Seychelles by sea (except returning Seychellois citizens) will not be allowed to disembark if he/she has been to China, (including the SAR), South Korea, Iran, Europe (as defined by the annexed list, and including the French departments of Reunion and Mayotte), the United States of America and Australia in the last 14 days.
- As of March 10, 2020, all cruise ships are not allowed entry into Seychelles’ waters until further notice.
- All leisure boats will not be allowed entry into Seychelles’ waters until further notice.
- All boat and pleasure craft excursions and activities must be scaled down.
- Persons from any marine vessel will not be allowed to disembark in Seychelles if any passenger or crew on board has been to China, South Korea, Iran, Europe (as defined by the annexed list, and including the French departments of Reunion and Mayotte), the United States of America and Australia in the last 14 days.
- All travelers 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 and possible contacts.
General directives until further notice:
- All public gatherings which attract crowds or compromise social distancing, are strictly forbidden. This applies to places which include, but are not limited to:
- Religious services and gatherings at all locations;
- Public meetings;
- Cinemas and theatres;
- Musical shows and concerts;
- Bars, nightclubs, discotheques and casinos;
- Parties, celebrations and large functions;
- Fun fairs, fancy fairs, and bring and buy sales;
- Political gatherings;
- Beach parties and picnics;
- Matches, sporting competitions, and other sporting events; and
- Any other close-contact events and gatherings.
- No permission will be granted by the police for any public gatherings. Organisers of such events are required to cancel or postpone the gathering until further notice.
- Funerals will be conducted only under strict guidelines*.
Guidance for the population
- You are encouraged to make a special effort to observe good personal hygiene at all times;
- You must avoid going to public places if you have a respiratory condition that is making you cough or sneeze;
- A face mask is only useful if you have respiratory symptoms, such as a cough or runny nose; or if you are taking care of a sick person with respiratory illness;
- Practise frequent hand washing with soap (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to the toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing); and use hand sanitisers where available;
- Cover your mouth with a single-use tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of the soiled tissue paper in the rubbish bin immediately; then, wash hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitisers;
- If you have a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose), you should wear a face mask and call your clinic for further advice.
- Members of the public are strongly encouraged to practise social distancing in all public spaces, vehicles and boats.
- Employers are urged to permit their staff to work from home and to use other innovative ideas as much as possible.
WHO continues to emphasise the need for countries to enhance preparedness to respond to cases and to take all mitigating measures required, without creating panic. Seychelles continues to reinforce its outbreak preparedness and response plan.
Compiled by Gerard Govinden