Health professionals give update on COVID-situation in the country | 22 July 2020
Fifty-eight mariners have already recovered from COVID-19 and there are 39 active cases that are still being monitored, Dr Jude Gedeon, the public health commissioner, has said.
He also noted that the six Seychellois who were in isolation tested negative on Monday evening and a second round of tests will be conducted on them in order to make sure the results are accurate.
Dr Gedeon was speaking at yesterday’s press conference at the Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic Centre to update the public on the COVID-19 situation in the country.
Also present at the press conference was the chief executive of the Health Care Agency, Dr Danny Louange.
Dr Gedeon went on to note that since they have started testing they have recorded over 114 cases with six additional positive cases during the weekend between the mariners who were in quarantine.
With regard to the six Seychellois, Dr Gedeon said:
“We still haven’t figured out how the Seychellois were infected but we do know that it was from contact with the mariners and not community transmission.”
At the moment 52 people are in quarantine at facilities in Beau Vallon Bay and South East Island, most of them coming in through repatriation flights and will be discharged later during the week.
There are three foreigners from the fishing vessels who are exhibiting mild symptoms of the virus but are being monitored.
Meanwhile, another main question that dominated the conference yesterday was whether it should be mandatory to wear face masks in public places.
“As the epidemic is progressing masks have become one of the main tools in protecting a person from the virus so it is important that people follow the proper guidelines when wearing face masks,” said Dr Gedeon.
He continued by saying that the ministry has given the public the necessary information on how to wear their face masks but this is still a challenge for some.
“We are still seeing people not wearing their masks properly and this is worrisome as it is not protecting anyone,” he stressed.
“If we ever get transmission in the community, it will be mandatory for everyone to wear a mask in public places,” said Dr Gedeon.
Dr Louange added to what Dr Gedeon was saying by noting that it is now mandatory for people coming to the hospital to visit patients admitted to the wards to wear a face mask. He pointed out that if people are coming to the hospital for other services such as X-rays or going to an appointment then they will have the option to choose if they want to wear a mask or not, but it is greatly encouraged that they do.
With regard to the reopening of the international airport, Dr Gedeon noted that the public health will have a bigger presence at the airport.
“A medical section has been established to perform testing as well as to provide isolation. There are also temperature scanners that have been placed to monitor the temperature of incoming visitors,” he said.
As for countries that are allowed entry into Seychelles he said the list is still being monitored.