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Covid-19 update | 18 September 2020

Covid-19 update

Dr Louange and Dr Gedeon during the press conference yesterday (Photo: Louis Toussaint)

 One new case registered

 

  • Leaders urged to lead by example and follow prevention guidance

 

One new case of Covid-19 was registered yesterday on a passenger who is married to a Seychellois and who had come back from India.

To date there are five active cases ‒ four imported and one local ‒ making a cumulative total of 141 cases, Public Health Commissioner, Dr Jude Gédéon, said during yesterday’s press conference at the Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic Centre. He was accompanied by Health Care Agency chief executive, Dr Danny Louange.

Dr Gédéon also gave an overview of the samples received on a monthly basis and explained that most of the samples come from travellers.

“Currently we have five cases in Seychelles who are active and that have tested positive,” he said.

He also talked about the new Public Health (Infectious Disease) (Mandatory Wearing of Face Masks) Regulations, 2020 signed by the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Danny Faure on September 14, 2020.

The regulation makes the wearing of masks mandatory for all persons in Seychelles in the following places and circumstances:

a)        On public transportation including but not limited to buses, taxis, ferries, planes or any other conveyance or vessel capable of carrying people;

b)        Indoor places including but not limited to health facilities, financial institutions including banks and credit unions, customer service centres, retail shops or outlets, places of funerals, cremation or interments, meeting rooms, cinemas, places of worship, ports and airports where one metre physical distancing cannot be maintained;

c)        Outdoor places including but not limited to markets, sports venues, bus terminals where one metre physical distancing cannot be strictly maintained;

d)        Places of work including but not limited to massage parlours, beauty salons, barber shops and hair dressers where one metre physical distancing cannot be strictly maintained;

e)        Other circumstances where one metre physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The face masks, for the purposes of these regulations, shall be made of such material as to prevent droplets from spreading while allowing the user to breathe and the dimension of the face mask shall be adequate to entirely cover the nose and mouth of the user.

The regulations also specify that children under the age of 5 years are exempt from mandatorily wearing face masks.

“The police will have to ensure that this regulation is being respected. Any person who fails to comply with this regulation shall be liable to a spot fine of R100,” noted Dr Gedeon.

Regarding quarantine, Dr Louange confirmed that there are currently five people in isolation and 124 in the quarantine facilities.

“We have 78 on Mahé, 36 on Praslin and 8 on La Digue. All these people are doing fine and the last person who tested positive is also in quarantine and has already been transferred to the isolation centre. In the isolation centre, they are all doing fine.”

Commenting on the positive case from Praslin, Dr Louange noted that there were some staff who were placed in quarantine.

“In order to protect our staff also we have to monitor them and this caused an imbalance in our service. We had to transfer 20 staff from Mahé to Praslin and La Digue and we had to use the nurses from Kenya. We have extended their contract in order for them to help us out,” explained Dr Louange.

Both doctors also shared that with all these precautionary methods, many diseases were controlled.

“Cases of conjunctivitis, stomach aches, respiratory disease and pneumonia and skin diseases are reducing. We are also doing some analysis on the number of patients coming to the hospital,” noted the doctors.

Addressing a concern by members of the public regarding the transportation of specimens from Praslin and La Digue to Mahé, Dr Louange urged them to come forward if they have regular travel means coming to Mahé from Praslin.

Unfortunately, the department of health has noticed that despite all the precautionary advices there are uncontrolled mass gatherings where there is close contact and no social distancing.

“People are not wearing face masks where recommended and the guidelines and protocols are not being respected. We all know that this is a special period and we are excited. We call on the leaders to lead by example and for followers to listen to their leaders for health guidelines to be respected. Many people send us negative comments and some good ones. We thank them for that and we forgive them. If there is no Covid-19 out there, should we at the department of health also ease our measures?” concluded Dr Gédéon.

 

Vidya Gappy

 

 

 

 

 

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