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Covid-19 update Seychelles registers first Covid-related death of a fully vaccinated person |11 June 2021

Covid-19 update     Seychelles registers first Covid-related death of a fully vaccinated person

Dr Gedeon and r Henriette during the press conference yesterday (Photo: Jude Morel)

Seychelles registered its first Covid-related death of a fully vaccinated person yesterday morning.

This was confirmed by Dr Jude Gédéon, the Public Health Commissioner, at the weekly press meet yesterday at the Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic Centre. He was accompanied by Dr Kenneth Henriette, the director of Seychelles Hospital.

As of June 9, 7.30pm, Seychelles had 1,293 active Covid-19 cases including 264 from Praslin and 87 from La Digue. Out of the 12,973 cumulative confirmed cases, 11,634 have recovered and there have been 46 deaths. The seven day moving average of Covid-19 in Seychelles up to June 8, 2021 looks like this: June 1 – 121 cases; June 2 – 130; June 3 – 120; June 4 – 125; June 5 – 127; June 6 – 126; June 7 - 127 and June 8 – 133.

All districts have active cases but the highest numbers are from the following districts: Grand-Anse Praslin, Baie Ste Anne Praslin, La Digue and Perseverance.

“Almost 90% of these cases have recovered and unfortunately the downward trend that we saw from mid-May seems to have stabilised and it is not going further down. That means community transmission is continuing and we need to place more emphasis on prevention to bring it down. The restrictive measures that are in place must continue and might be reinforced to better control the outbreak. The largest outbreak right now is on the inner islands. In total there are 136 admissions in the government facilities and at the Family Hospital at Perseverance there are 17 patients with 4 in critical condition and on ventilators.”

It is unfortunate for Seychelles to have a person fully vaccinated with Covishield who passed away yesterday morning. “The sad demise of the person happened this morning (yesterday) and yes he had some underlying health conditions. He did take two doses of Covishield and his severe conditions made the situation worse as it decreased the immune system,” explained Dr Henriette.

A special appeal was made for people to come take their second dose of vaccine but unfortunately 1538 did not turn up for their second dose of Covishield and still 2076 people are due to take their second dose of Sinopharm.

“As new vaccines become available, we make a special appeal for people to come forward to take their vaccines as we know vaccines provide protection.”

“Sadly too many social gatherings and inter islands travelling among locals are happening. From our last report, we know that we have the South African variant and we are also seeing that our vaccines are not succeeding in preventing us from getting and transmitting Covid but it is protecting us from severe symptoms. Seychelles is also considering, like many other countries, to have a booster. For 12-17 year olds, the Pfizer vaccines have been approved and the Ministry of Health is in negotiation to acquire them.”


Admissions in the government facilities

At the Family Hospital there are currently 17 patients, 4 out of whom are on ventilators. The others also are in moderate conditions and some also need oxygen.

Dr Henriette added that those in Coast Guard Isolation (11 patients) and the new Coastguard hospital (22) also need some follow up as they all have some mild to moderate symptoms. 37 patients are based at Il-di-Swet, five at Baie St Anne Hospital isolation ward, six at the Indian Ocean Lodge (Praslin), 24 at the Pension Funds (Praslin) and 14 at La Veuve Guest House (La Digue).

Clarifying the use of ventilators, Dr Henriette explained that “for a patient to be on ventilator we need to analyse their condition. Sometimes a patient does not need ventilator but requires oxygen and this can be given in other ways. We do have adequate ventilators at the Family Hospital and we have left 13 ventilators in stock for use if need be and we are also getting more. There are specific criteria for a person to use a ventilator. The risk should be minimum for a patient.”


Important observations

Dr Gédéon noted that “we have noticed a sustained flattening of weekly rolling average and a persistent community transmission. This is not good as we want the numbers to go down. It is also confirmed that the vaccination protects against severe disease and death. Seeing the ongoing community transmission, there is need for improved adherence to preventive measures.  Sadly there are still too many social gatherings happening in the community and people are still doing inter-island travelling.”

Regarding closure of school, the Ministry of Education usually works closely with the Ministry of Health to decide if a class should be closed or a school. “Once again we urge the parents to be responsible and do not send the child to school if a person has been quarantined at home. If a person breaks the rule of quarantine/isolation, we will see with the Attorney General how these people will be dealt with.”


Break down of vaccines administered in Seychelles

After giving the details of the three vaccines, Dr Gédéon appealed to those who have taken Sinopharm to please go take their second dose.

“1538 people missed their second Covishield vaccine and we do not know when we will get another batch. Those who missed it will have to take a booster. But 2076 people are due to take their second dose of Sinopharm. Please do not miss your dose.”

Dr Gédéon and Dr Henriette both explained that herd immunity is complex. “We need to change our lifestyle and help in stopping the virus to spread. The composition of the virus has changed and we are still learning about it. If we want our business to function, we want to stop the transmission, annou ede pour aret fer Kovid propaze,”, concluded Dr Gédéon.


Vidya Gappy


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