COVID-19 update | 06 November 2020
Three active cases in Seychelles
Population urged to abide by public health guidelines and not to be complacent
Seychelles currently has three active cases of Covid-19 and they are all on island resorts and asymptomatic.
Today the task force is meeting to discuss new strategies that will be put in place with regard to what we will do in response to the changing situation in Europe. This was announced by the Public Health Commissioner, Dr Jude Gédéon, in yesterday’s press conference at the Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic Centre together with the Health Care Agency chief executive, Dr Danny Louange.
“So far the outbreak has been spreading in many parts of the world. It’s approaching 15 million cases and the mortality rate is 3% globally. Covid-19 is killing many people, we have surpassed 1.2 million deaths. Analysing the facts, it is killing three to four times more compared to influenza annually. We are entering the first year of Covid-19 and it looks like it will be more fatal than influenza. The outbreak is spreading in Europe, the Americas and South East Asia whereas it is contracting in Asia, Western Pacific and the Eastern Mediterranean. The outbreak is expanding in most of our tourism markets and there are lockdowns in most of these countries. Locally we are looking at the measures we need to take in terms of filtering or preventing the introduction of new cases in Seychelles.”
Seychelles has so far 158 cumulative cases with only 3 active cases. The last one discovered on Wednesday night is still under investigation and contact tracing has started. The Ministry of Health continues to do PCR testing and for the month of October 3276 cases were done and from November 1 to date 312 tests were done.
Regarding quarantine, Dr Louange stated that currently only the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort is being used as quarantine centre and there are currently 105 people there.
“All people are being monitored regularly and for now nobody is showing any symptoms. There is no one in our isolation centres and our staff are being trained in the meantime and those who needed time off are doing so.”
Some people are also under home surveillance.
Regarding services offered by the hospital, Dr Lounage noted that “we are continuously working to improve our services and we have cleared our backlogs of all elective emergency. The good sign is that we have not had any staff infected with Covid-19 yet. This is a result of the various measures we put in place to protect our staff. If our staff get infected, this will become a catastrophe for our country. As we can see in other countries, their health systems are overwhelmed. We have to be grateful for that and care for our health and for others!”
Dr Louange also announced that soon the English River health centre will be open on a 24 hour basis. “We are still working on this and we are currently working on the shift of our staff to have enough personnel to operate the health centre on a 24 hour basis.”
Patients having treatments outside Seychelles are being currently sent to UAE for further care. Already two batches of patients were sent to Sri Lanka before but now the ministry is working on sending patients to the countries that are accepting Seychellois. For any queries and follow up, the patients are urged to contact the health department.
Briefing with President and VP
Dr Gédéon also briefed the press about the meeting the Ministry of Health had with President Wavel Ramkalawan and Vice-President Ahmed Afif. On the table they had an overview of the global and local situation, Timeline; Covid-19 response plan; Framework for reopening of Seychelles; Service continuity and COVAX initiatives.
“The President thanked all those involved in the response of Covid-19, specially the health care workers. He focused on the need for continuity of response and is committed to supporting the department of health with resource mobilisation and community engagements. We also discussed about the physical infrastructure matters (quarantine, isolation, screening tents, port of entry, safe hotels) and how to facilitate other operational matters.”
Dr Gédéon concluded the press conference with a message of prevention. “We cannot do enough prevention. Prevention we do for Covid-19 is to break the chain of transmission. Containment and management of cases is important but the most effective is prevention of illness and prevention of death. When we get a case, we do not want it to propagate. We have to improve on our standard operational procedures compliance and safety of tourism establisments and businesses. We have to have an improved SOP compliance of public and other private sectors also. This is why physical distancing and hygiene are very important. We urge the public to abide by the public health guidelines. The hardest part is to control community transmission which eventually leads to lockdowns. We do not want to go to that stage. The cost of that is to wear our mask, do hand hygiene, do not greet each other physically and take precautions, that you all know, as much as possible. If we do these things we will not get to the severe restrictions that many countries are facing.”