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Covid-19 update | 14 August 2020

Covid-19 update

Dr Pugazhendhi speaking to the press yesterday (Photo: Anel Robert)

Five extra stations to conduct PCR test

 

Five extra stations have been set up for Seychellois and tourists to do their PCR tests.

The current one on Mahé (Maison Football) and the hospital at Baie Ste Anne Praslin will still operate and members of the public now have the possibility to go to the following health centres for a PCR test with prior booking: Beau Vallon Health Centre, Anse Royale Hospital, Anse Boileau, English River and the Logan Hospital on La Digue (ready as from next week).

This was announced yesterday during the regular press updates by Dr Sanjeev Pugazhendhi from the Public Health Emergency Committee. He also gave some clarifications regarding the different tests around ‘Travel’. With the new normal, travelling has now become a testing time for many.

“There are two aspects to it; one is testing the people coming into the country and secondly testing the people leaving the country. Currently most countries, including Seychelles, and many airlines have requirements for testing if you want to use their services. Most of them require the PCR test which detect the genetic material of the virus and is considered the go-standard for now to check if somebody carries the virus. Everyone is asking tests 72 hours prior to departure. It is important to note that some countries do use test results up to 96 hours.”

In addition to this, Seychelles has been taking additional measures to protect its population and at the same time allowing the resumption of our tourism industry. “We have established a list of countries with low, medium and high risks. We have also systems for quarantine and surveillance for all arrivals and we have also some 250 tourism establishments that have been trained and certified to carry out home surveillance. Most of the establishments that started business are reporting to us regularly.”

In the first week of August, Seychelles registered 1500 arrivals out of which 200 are Seychellois/residents.

Did everyone have a PCR test result? Dr Pugazhendhi noted that some had tests more than 72 hours expired due to change in flight schedule.

“These people are going through a rapid antigen test and are also being kept in quarantine. This test takes around 45 minutes and this might delay the exit of the passengers. Depending on the symptoms shown, we take the necessary steps. We still strongly advise Seychellois not to travel during this time because the risk of contracting Covid-19 is far higher in other countries than in Seychelles.

The test for exiting the country also needs to be negative and within 72 hours before leaving the country, explained Dr Pugazhendhi.

Maison Football at the Roche Caiman Complex is currently running the test every day. “On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the time is from 8am to 3pm; on Tuesdays and Thursdays it is from 8am to noon; Saturdays 9am to noon and Sundays from 10am till noon. These testing are done by appointment only and everyone should be aware of the time it takes to carry out the test. The public can call on 4388401. For now we are having issues with our email and we have noticed an increase in the requests that’s why we have opened other stations. We ask that travellers bear with us as we are improving our system.”

Seychelles still has one active case of Covid-19 and 126 recovered cases.

 

Vidya Gappy

 

 

 

 

 

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