COVID-19 - ‘Seychelles not yet in the clear’ |15 April 2020
Public Health Commissioner Jude Gedeon yesterday warned that Seychelles is “not completely in the clear” despite no new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) over the past nine days.
Dr Gedeon, who was joined by chief executive of the Health Care Agency Danny Louange in a press conference held yesterday afternoon, noted that since the eleventh case was confirmed last Monday April 6, the department of health has been actively engaged in contact-tracing and have to date conducted 400 rapid tests on persons who are close to the individual and even persons who worked alongside him and so far, they have all tested negative.
In addition to rapid testing, confirmative PCR tests on persons showing certain symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 have also been conducted, as authorities fear there may be persons in the community who are carriers of the virus, but are yet to show symptoms.
“This is good news but at the same time, the battle must still go on as we are yet to reach the 14-day limit after the last confirmed case. However, it does not mean we are clear as there may be persons in the community who are not showing symptoms, but may be carrying the virus which is why even after the 14-day period elapses, we need to continue with our monitoring and continue to look out for persons who may be showing symptoms,” Dr Gedeon noted.
As of yesterday, 10 persons were at the isolation centre located at the Family Clinic, Perseverance, while three other persons have been admitted to the centre while they undergo tests. As was the case since the last update on Thursday April 9, there are no persons currently in home quarantine and the total number of persons in quarantine at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Hotel is 65 with a further 8 at the Coastguard base at Perseverance, although public health officials are still following up on 85 persons.
“For the previous cases, we have already concluded the follow-up and the specified timeframe has elapsed, so the follow-ups we are conducting currently are on the contacts of the person confirmed as the eleventh case,” Dr Louange noted.
The eleventh confirmed case, a 26-year-old ground handling staff at the Seychelles International Airport, is in stable condition but is currently being administered oxygen. The Dutch visitor who was at one point in critical condition has also been described as stable and recovering, according to Dr Louange.
As for the two persons who were declared recovered, one is still in quarantine at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay facility at their own choice, while the other has chosen to remain at the isolation centre, while their partner, who was also confirmed positive, completes treatment.
More restrictive measures for visitors at hospitals
As the number of persons visiting patients at the Seychelles Hospital and other healthcare premises has not reduced despite the prohibition on movement order, a new measure is being introduced and is expected to be implemented in the following days to limit the number of visitors at the hospital and limit the risk of exposing those who are already vulnerable and undergoing medical treatment to the coronavirus. Each patient will be limited to two visitors throughout their hospital stay, and both visitors will be required to go through a mandatory registration process, if they wish to continue visits to the patient.
Dr Gedeon urged the public to comply with the prohibition on movement order and other measures in place intended to stop the propagation of the virus.