Covid-19 public health, social measures relaxed as of today |01 March 2022
As of today, March 1, 2022, after recommendations from the Ministry of Health, the Platinum Command has approved revision of the Covid-19 public health and social measures. This was done at its meeting of Friday February 25.
Public Health Commissioner Dr Jude Gédéon made the announcement in the regular press meet held yesterday at the Seychelles Hospital.
The revised measures take effect from today, March 1, 2022, and are as follows:
1. All schools to function properly;
2. Movement of restrictions are lifted after 11pm;
3. Bars, casinos and restaurants revert to their full licence conditions which does not include dancing;
4. Shops open as per their licensing conditions;
5. Mixing of households are allowed and families can gather socially;
6. Gatherings indoors, and this includes wedding receptions, anniversaries, graduation ceremonies, are permitted according to venue capacity and standard operating procedures (SOPs);
7. The number of people permitted to attend funerals increases to 50;
8. All sporting activities are allowed, including competition with spectators provided the venue SOPs are followed.
Meanwhile, the following measures remain:
1) Masks wearing remains mandatory as per regulations;
2) Discotheques remain closed for the time being; and
3) Outdoor mass gatherings are not permitted.
Dr Jude Gedeon noted that “currently in Seychelles there are 317 active cases – 8 on La Digue; 44 on Praslin, 258 on Mahe and 7 cases on two other islands. The trend of the outbreak has been diminishing for the last seven weeks and our current rolling average is 30. The majority of the current cases are young children and young adults. The cases are distributed in all districts. The positivity rate stands at 4% which is below our threshold and nine persons have sadly passed in February alone. Over three quarters of people who have passed had not been vaccinated and amongst those vaccinated were people with very serious underlying conditions. The majority of people who passed are in the age group of 71-80 years old with 42 deaths in that group followed by the group 81 and over years old.”
Dr Gédéon explained that they have been reviewing all the transmission scenarios and looking at their response capacity.
“Right now, we are situated at a moderate transmission. We still have community transmission although the transmission level has been going down and is presently moderate. Coupled with the fact that our vaccination rate has been relatively good, but it could have been better especially the booster. Given the other indicators that are favourable, we have decided, in consultation with all the technical heads, to present the recommendations to the Platinum committee for some of the measures to be relaxed.
Dr Louange gave an update on admissions in the facilities and noted that currently at the Family Hospital there are 12 patients out of whom one is in critical condition. “We have 11 patients in different sections in the hospital and most of them have another comorbidity. In order not to end up in the hospital, we urge people to keep protecting themselves. There are many patients at the hospital who have not been vaccinated. There are some 50,000 people who have not taken their third dose and it is very important for them to come forward,” said Dr Louange.
Regarding the services at the hospital, Dr Louange noted that the Baie Lazare and Glacis health centres are back to their regular schedule. “There will be doctors, nurses’ consultation, dressing and pharmacy. We have also been able to increase our services at the hospital. All services are getting back to a normal pattern. For visits at the hospital, all visitors are still being asked to do their rapid antigen test. If there are family members who are in a critical stage, we give the family through a protocol to visit their families. For patients needing assistance, we also provide this service and they can stay with their family member.”
The Ministry of Health will continue to closely monitor the situation and will make further adjustments as necessary. The public is urged to continue observing basic health protocols to prevent the transmission of the virus.
Both Dr Louange and Dr Gédéon emphasised on the importance of vaccination which remains the best defence against severe illness, hospitalisation and death from Covid-19. All residents of Seychelles who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to do so as soon as possible, including people who are eligible for booster shots. A fourth dose is recommended for people doing dialysis and requiring for travel and work.
A PCR test is still required to enter Seychelles for now.
The Ministry of Health wishes to commend the people of Seychelles who have observed the health regulations and protocols and further urges everyone to continue to act cautiously and responsibly since the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over.