COVID-19 cases in Seychelles |16 March 2020
State schools on Mahé, ISS close for 14 days
All primary and secondary schools on Mahé will cease operations as of today, Monday March 16, 2020 for 14 calendar days.
The decision was taken late yesterday by the department of health and the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development after Seychelles recorded three cases of COVID-19 in the space of two days.
All three patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 came to Seychelles on Wednesday March 11, 2020 on the Emirates EK705 morning flight. They are a Seychellois couple in their 60s and a visitor from Holland. All three have been placed in isolation at the Anse Royale Hospital.
Principal secretary for early childhood, primary and secondary schools, Odile Decommarmond, told the media last night that primary and secondary students from Mahé will not be going to school after some of them who had been on an overseas assignment, travelled on the same Emirates EK705 flight and may have been in contact with other children at their schools.
“We urge all children to stay at home and not to roam around,” said PS Decommarmond.
Parents are being asked to contact their children’s schools management for information on any arrangements for learning from home during this period of closure.
Meanwhile, the International School of Seychelles (ISS) has taken the decision to be proactive and will close for the next 14 days with effect from today in line with recommended World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.
The school took the decision yesterday after an emergency meeting to discuss the course of action in line with its emergency operating plan. This came after the department of health confirmed that there are two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.
The board of governors, together with the senior management of the school, met on Friday March 13, 2020 and discussed the preparedness and emergency operating plan in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Seychelles.
In a letter dated March 15, 2020 and sent out to parents by Priscille Chetty, chairperson of International School Seychelles’ board of governors, she wrote:
“We acknowledge that the mandatory 14 days will end close to the Easter break. The school will be monitoring the situation closely and will endeavour to keep you informed if there are any adverse developments. We will be taking further measures as we deem necessary for the safeguard of our whole school community.
“Teaching and learning will continue as set out in the emergency operating plan.
“Over the next few days, the individual email-ID’s of all students in Y5 and above will be sent out to parents in order for your child/ren to access Google Classroom to continue with their learning.
“For parents with children from R1 to Y4, resources and assignments will be sent via email regularly.
“The board in consultation with the school management will determine what is the best course of action to take in relation to the students sitting for the external exams and communication to parents with students sitting external exams will be sent out shortly.
“We would like to thank all our parents for their support and understanding despite the decision being implemented with such short notice that may leave some parents with some difficulty in making alternative arrangements for their children.
“At this time, we would like to encourage all parents to remain calm, exercise caution and practice the recommended social distancing and avoid large gatherings.”
Gerard Govinden and communique from International School of Seychelles