5546 active cases of Covid-19 in the country |14 January 2022
• 4130 new cases recorded in just one week
There are currently a total of 5546 active cases of Covid-19 in the country – 5062 on Mahé, 251 on Praslin, 218 on La Digue.
Last week both islands recorded 68 active cases each.
Meanwhile Covid-19 cases recorded until Wednesday this week show that a total of 4130 new cases were recorded in just one week.
Public Health Commissioner Dr Jude Gedeon gave those figures on the pandemic situation in the country in the weekly update yesterday.
“The number of cases has more than doubled on both islands (Praslin and La Digue) as well as on Mahé and it is clear that the situation is accelerating,” Dr Gedeon highlighted.
On the other islands the number of active cases has increased from five last week to 10 this week bringing the total to 15.
Until Wednesday two additional deaths have been reported but are yet to be added to the list.
Dr Gedeon remarked that the peak registered on May 3 last year was 620 cases, the highest number of cases ever registered at that time.
“A new peak of 758 cases was registered on January 11 and we do not know if there would be another high peak after this one but clearly the trend is upwards,” Dr Gedeon remarked.
The seven day moving average is 559 but towards the end of last year the figure was below 50.
Dr Gedeon explained that a look at the distribution of cases shows that the majority is among young people up to the age of 50 years with the largest group in the labour force.
“With the most active cases in the labour force, it is clear that the work force of almost all organisations in the country is being affected. As to where the cases are, they are spread almost everywhere with districts like Anse aux Pins, Anse Royale, Beau Vallon, Perseverance recording over 300 cases but all districts are recording significant numbers of active cases,” Dr Gedeon remarked.
With regard to the infection among children, he said an analysis conducted earlier this week shows that over 800 children are currently active cases and this is in the age group 0 to 1 year as well as other age groups each with some 30 to 50 cases.
“There are also children between the ages of 12 and 17 who have already been vaccinated who are being affected similarly like in other countries but there is a level of protection being observed in the vaccinated group.
“In terms of re-infection cases, we have seen that this month so far 404 people have been re-infected,” Dr Gedeon pointed out.
Omicron dominant variant in circulation
Screening tests conducted early January show that end of December last year 84% of the cases recorded was Omicron and less than a week later 93% was Omicron and we presume that by now the cases are approaching or have reached 100%.
“We are more than certain that the Omicron circulating in the country is responsible for the rapid increase in infection cases as it is more infectious and tends to develop much faster,” Dr Gedeon explained.
Up to December last year there were 136 deaths related to Covid-19 from which 77% had not been vaccinated.
The country has currently reached a level of 79% for first and second doses. With the new vaccination drive this month from January 1 to 12 a total of 4790 doses of vaccination have been administered in the age group 12 to 17.
But the total number of vaccination doses administered is 25,064 for third doses of Pfizer and 2680 for third doses of Sinopharm.
Meanwhile Dr Gedeon is advising members of the public that the different health facilities in the country are overwhelmed with the number of people turning up for tests. It is for this reason that work places are being encouraged to carry out rapid tests on their workers as medically approved test kits are now commercially available which they can buy.
“The Ministry of Health is providing a one day free training for both private and public work places who want to train employees on how to use the test kits.
Work places that are interested to take part in the training in order to carry out the tests on their employees can submit their details to the Health Care Agency.
Dr Gedeon admitted that while many people are following the different health measures in place, there are many others who are not necessarily following the measures as they should.
“We are calling on this group of people to take their responsibility seriously and give a helping hand in reducing the rate of infection,” Dr Gedeon said.
Meanwhile he is calling on elderly citizens who have difficulty to access the different vaccination centres to call on their district administrators to organise for them to be vaccinated.
“It is important that everyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 respects isolation regulations and if they have been in close contact with an infected person to respect quarantine measures,” Dr Gedeon stressed.
Covid-19 situation in health facilities
The chief executive of the Health Care Agency, Dr Danny Louange, has meanwhile stated that admission is on the increase in the different care facilities for people testing positive, more specifically those who also have a chronic condition therefore admission is not among people feeling sick because of Covid per se.
He said at the Family Hospital there are currently 10 patients among whom one is in critical condition in the ICU. Admission in the Family Hospital is not the same as at the New Coast Guard where there are 35 patients in isolation and who have been admitted because they have symptoms with which they cannot cope at home or they have tested positive but have another illness for which they require admission.
At the Old Coast Guard there are five patients whose illnesses have been stabilised. On Praslin there are 19 admissions and on La Digue there are 11.
Meanwhile at the Seychelles Hospital there are 12 patients admitted with Covid-19 and they are at the D’Offay Ward, the Maternity and the Pediatric Ward and these patients have been admitted for their medical condition rather than the Covid-19 infection. They are stable and have been isolated to prevent the risk of infecting other patients.
Infection impact on medical personnel
Some 150 members of the staff are currently infected and are in isolation and it has been observed that their risks of being infected in the community is higher as in the hospital setting they are fully protected.
“This is a situation that we are closely monitoring and our main objective is to continue to protect both our staff and patients,” Dr Louange said.
He went on to highlight that the situation is severely impacting on service delivery which has resulted in the ministry to redeploy the remaining staff to maintain services.
“But for the time being we have not cancelled any surgeries but there are certain areas where services have reduced because the specialist is not available but our aim is to continue providing our services as much as possible while ensuring a safe environment for all our patients,” Dr Louange said.
Meanwhile Dr Louange has said people are reporting to the different testing stations in large numbers as the ministry is encouraging people with symptoms and those who have been in close contact with an infected person to undergo tests, thus the long queues. “We are therefore calling for the cooperation and understanding of everybody while we review our strategies and encourage work places to test their employees to help relieve the situation at the testing centres,” Dr Louange said.
Vaccination drive continues
Meanwhile approximately 1000 people are being vaccinated with Pfizer per day for all three doses and the ministry is encouraging more people to come forward and take their jabs.
“While we thank people for coming forward we are urging those who are yet to take their first doses of vaccines to take the decision and come forward as there are times when the vaccination centres lie idle.
“There are approximately 19,000 people, Seychellois who are yet to take their first and second vaccine doses while around 40,000 people are yet to take their booster doses. Vaccines are available and are free so do not miss the opportunity to protect yourselves,” Dr Louange said, calling on people in difficult situations to make arrangements through their DAs offices.