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No new positive cases as some on quarantine are released |03 April 2020

No new positive cases as some  on quarantine are released

Dr Louange and Dr Henriette during the press conference yesterday (Photo: Louis Toussaint)

Since the last update on Tuesday March 31, 2020 by the health authority on the COVID-19 situation in the country, as of 4pm on Wednesday April 1, 2020, the number of people infected with the virus still remains at ten.

The Dutch visitor is still on ventilation at the isolation treatment facility at the Family Hospital, Ile Perseverance and his health, though critical, has improved, according to the director general for public health, Dr Meggy Louange.

She noted that the health condition of the nine other persons is stable.

Dr Louange, along with Dr Kenneth Henriette, the director of Seychelles Hospital, was briefing the press in a live conference on the present situation of the COVID-19 in the country. The live conference held yesterday afternoon, was switched from its previous location at the Red Roof, Ministry of Health, to the conference room in the Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic centre, in view of more available space for social distancing.

According to Dr Louange, 89 people are on quarantine at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Hotel and 16 at the Seychelles Coast Guard quarantine facility, Ile Perseverance, while the number of people on quarantine on Praslin has dropped from six to five. There is nobody on quarantine on La Digue as they have all been released. One hundred and thirty-three (133) people are still on home quarantine on Mahé.

Dr Louange said that the ministry has received a consignment of rapid test kits, some of which were used on Monday to screen test people in quarantine at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Hotel.

She further said that 97 had their blood samples taken and all the results showed negative signs of COVID-19.

She noted though that the screen tests from the rapid testing is not the usual polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test used by the ministry to confirm if someone has the virus or not.

She explained that only further to a reaction from the screening test that the person will undergo a PCR test for further confirmation on his or her status regarding COVID-19.

The rapid testing was also done yesterday at the Four Seasons Hotel on 66 people still under quarantine and who were waiting the further screening test to decide if they would be allowed to leave.

Dr Louange said that since the discovery of the virus three weeks ago in Seychelles, 204 people have been tested for the virus, of whom the 10 positive cases were detected.

She said the ministry is on a day to day basis testing those who have completed their fourteen days in quarantine centres and at home, to confirm if they are free of the virus so that they can be released.

Dr Henriette has also confirmed as true an incident reported on social media that a woman lately reported to the casualty clinic at the Seychelles Hospital with her two children, claiming that they had been in contact with someone on home quarantine with COVID-19 symptoms and that now her children were showing signs of having contracted the virus.

Dr Henriette explained that as the woman had come around mid-night to the casualty clinic to voice her concern, it was difficult late in the night to verify the validity of her complaint. So it was decided to put her and her two children on quarantine at the Family Hospital for further COVID-19 investigation. He stated that the ministry is waiting for the results of the COVID-19 tests conducted on them.

Dr Henriette noted that this was a one-off incident and that the ministry will not be entertaining people coming in and wanted to be tested as tests carried out are conducted through adopted strategic guidelines from the international community especially from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

He said that apart from donations from generous donors, the ministry is fully engaged to acquiring more medical equipment and medical supplies in the fight against the virus.

In relation to a deceased male Filipino whose dead body was allowed to enter Seychelles two weeks ago, Dr Henriette said that the autopsy showed that he had not contracted COVID-19. He said the corpse was cremated.

To avoid catching the virus while worldwide investigation continues to further discover more on COVID-19, Dr Louange stressed on following the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health for the time being.

She also said that the Dutchman, who was arrested and placed under quarantine after he escaped upon being barred at the Seychelles International Airport from entering Seychelles over two weeks ago, has been repatriated.

By:Patrick Joubert

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