Public health COVID-19 situation update | 24 July 2020
Seychellois patients test negative for COVID-19
Since testing for COVID-19 began here, Seychelles has registered 114 cases with 75 of those having recovered and 39 still active, Public Health Commissioner Dr Jude Gedeon has said.
He was speaking during yesterday’s press conference at the Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic Centre to give an update on the current COVID-19 situation in the country.
Dr Gedeon explained that the six Seychellois who recently tested positive for the virus have all tested negative and will be moved to the quarantine centre at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Hotel. He noted that for the time being there are no active cases among Seychellois.
He continued by addressing the steps that incoming visitors will go through and the guidelines that Seychellois will have to follow if they are leaving the country.
“The travel advisory will also cover the types of flights coming to Seychelles, incoming traveller information and which category of gainful occupation permit (GOP) holders will be allowed to enter the country as well as entrance by sea,” said Dr Gedeon.
He remarked that at this point in time the department of health is discouraging Seychellois from travelling outside of the country as there will be many difficulties that will come with it.
The advisory will include applications to enter Seychelles from high risk countries which will need permission from the government in order to become effective. He added that if Seychellois come from a high risk country they will have to go through mandatory quarantine.
Dr Gedeon also noted that training is being conducted for all agencies and services that will be dealing with tourists, adding that the training is based on the guidelines set by the department of health.
Once visitors arrive at the airport there will be additional screening conducted and their temperature will be scanned and a symptomatic screening will be done to see if a visitor is showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Dr Gedeon also talked about the probability of catching the virus while in public if someone is not wearing a mask and he further encouraged members of the public to wear one.
“We are preparing a memorandum that will be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers following which it will be made into law making it compulsory for people to wear a mask in certain situations as it is an additional preventive measure,” said Dr Gedeon.
He gave examples of countries that have adopted this law and noted that their rate of infection is low as they started doing this early.
“If we don’t put this into a law people will not abide to it and it is important that they not only wear a mask but wear it well,” continued Dr Gedeon.
AS for Health Care Agency chief executive, Dr Danny Louange, he noted that there were nine people in isolation and six have satisfied the criteria to be discharged and three remain to be tested as they were exhibiting mild symptoms.
Others are in home quarantine or quarantine facilities at Beau Vallon and South East Island which brings the total to 49 with most of them to be discharged by the end of the week.
Dr Louange also talked about the shortage of medicine the department of health experienced earlier this year and noted that they are fully stocked right now. He also said that the price of medicine has become very expensive and this is why the hospital has started buying generic medicine and not brand medicine.