Coronavirus cases in Seychelles |02 December 2020
Home quarantine under strict health regulations if no beds available
People will have to go on home quarantine under strict health regulations and guidance if there is a surge in the number of coronavirus cases and there are not enough hospital beds available.
Health Care Agency chief executive Dr Danny Louange made this remark during an interview with the press yesterday afternoon in his office’s meeting room at the Red Roof Building. Also present was public health commissioner, Dr Jude Gedeon.
This came as a result of the sudden increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the country and the threat posed by Covid-19 following detection on Sunday of nine new cases, including two healthcare workers who got infected while on duty at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay hotel quarantine centre.
Dr Louange said that at the moment there are enough beds ‒ 34 ‒ at the isolation centre at the Family Hospital, Ile Persévérance, with the possibility for more beds to be added. There are 33 individual rooms at quarantine rooms at the South East island quarantine centre and 12 at the Seychelles Coast Guard quarantine centre. These do not include the beds at the Avani quarantine centre.
He also stated that the Health Care Agency recently received 43 beds from Laxmanbhai & Co (Sey) Limited that will further boost its bedding capacity in the event of a surge of Covid-19 cases.
Giving his comments, Dr Gedeon noted that through health monitoring, people who test positive for Covid-19 can be quarantined at home as at the moment, some people who have tested positive and are asymptomatic, are being accommodated, treated in facilities not labelled as quarantine centres, on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and on some outer islands. Some of these patients have already been discharged.
“We need to have the flexibility and different options to treat our patients. If somebody living in a hotel tests positive and the hotel can accommodate the person without others being exposed, so it’s best that the person stays at the facility,” Dr Gedeon said, noting that this is the plan as more visitors continue to fly to Seychelles.
With regard to the two Seychellois female health workers who contracted the virus while working at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay hotel quarantine centre, Dr Louange said a team from the infection, prevention and control (IPC) unit is investigating if there was a breach in health regulations at the quarantine centre for further enhancement of preventive measures.
He also said that contact tracing has already started and is still ongoing to track people who have been in close contact with the two health workers.
Dr Louange stated that up to now they have identified six members in the household of one of the infected persons and two, being very close contacts, have been quarantined at the quarantine facility at Avani Resort & Spa, Barbarons and the rest are on home quarantine. As for the other infected staff, only one member is staying at the house and that person was placed on home quarantine.
He added that 38 working colleagues of the two infected health workers, including two drivers, are being investigated and they also are undergoing PCR tests.
He noted that health workers at isolation and quarantine facilities are bodily gowned and masked, among other health preventive measures, when attending to patients. He added that those workers, as they are well protected, are allowed to go home to their families.
Dr Louange explained that the two frontline workers who tested positive for coronavirus during the weekend are asymptomatic and are being isolated at the Family Hospital, Ile Persévérance. He stated that with only them being infected through local transmission, marks a milestone in Seychelles’ effort to control the virus one year after its discovery.
He said that the nine new cases bring the total number of Covid-19 cases to 183. At the moment there are 96 people in quarantine at the Avani Resort & Spa quarantine centre, 8 at the Seychelles Coast Guard quarantine centre and 6 people at the isolation centre, Family Hospital, Ile Persévérance.
Dr Gedeon highlighted the need for people to follow the health guidelines in place as the country has no option now but to re-launch its economy that has been affected by this pandemic.
“We have to be prepared to expect more visitors and although with all the measures in place, there will be new cases of the virus coming in,” Dr Gedeon said, noting that it’s important to prevent the spread of the coronavirus among our population.