New case of Covid-19 detected on Praslin | 14 September 2020
Source of infection unknown
A 57-year-old man on Praslin with no recent history of travelling overseas, to Mahé or even La Digue is the country’s 139th Covid-19 case.
The patient was admitted at the isolation and treatment facility at Baie Ste Anne Hospital on Wednesday, September 9 after presenting with Covid-19 symptoms and was confirmed positive on Friday night.
Public Health Commissioner, Dr Jude Gedeon, provided these details on Saturday afternoon following President Danny Faure’s emergency meeting with the Gold Command Committee, the highest echelon when it comes to dealing with Covid-19 in the country.
The committee met President Danny Faure at State House to apprise him of the latest developments and ongoing response measures.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Dr Gedeon noted that the Praslinois patient was being transferred to the isolation facility on Ile Perseverance, Mahé with the help of the Seychelles Air Force.
“He is having some respiratory symptoms but is not in a lot of distress. The decision has been taken to transfer him to Mahé for additional care at the Family Hospital,” stated Dr Gedeon.
“Contact tracing has started since last night [Friday], and so far we have about 30 close contacts and 75 contacts in total.”
The patient’s family members and close contacts, who include his work colleagues, have been placed in quarantine facilities on Praslin and La Digue.
Testing is underway for them as well as the Baie Ste Anne Hospital staff who came in contact with the patient.
“Based on the results we receive, we will decide on the additional measures that will be required in terms of contact tracing, isolation and quarantine,” said Dr Gedeon.
The source of the infection is not yet known but Dr Gedeon noted that evidences thus far are pointing towards exposure through persons involved in illegal maritime activities outside of the country’s exclusive zone.
“We believe that it could be a community transmission but we have to complete all contact tracing and investigation before we can safely confirm that it is indeed a community transmission,” highlighted Dr Gedeon.
The sudden death of a man on Praslin is also under investigation following the discovery of the new case. Dr Gedeon however stated that the deceased’s symptoms do not seem related to the virus and had no epidemiological link to the 57-year-old Praslinois.
Dr Gedeon stressed that this new case showcases the need for everyone to abide by Covid-19 precautions and safety guidelines, and further urged members of the public to avoid crowds.
He stated that the health authorities have already identified some entertainment areas that have not been respecting these guidelines and noted that these facilities will soon be issued with a warning. Further non-compliance could result in complete closures of these businesses.