Covid-19 update |14 May 2021
No death recorded among fully vaccinated
● 88% of the targeted population vaccinated
Seychelles had 2,739 active Covid-19 cases including 257 on Praslin and 40 on La Digue as of yesterday, but until now no death has been recorded among people who have taken the required two doses of any of the two vaccines ‒ Sinopharm and Covishield.
This was announced by public health commissioner, Dr Jude Gédéon, in the regular press meet held yesterday at the Sheikh Khalifa diagnostic centre. He was accompanied by the Health Care Agency chief executive, Dr Danny Louange.
Since March 2020, Seychelles has recorded 9,184 confirmed Covid-19 cases, among those 654 health workers. A total of 6,413 people have recovered but on the other hand 32 have died. Of the current active cases, 85% are Seychellois, 15% foreigners including 5% health care workers ‒ both Seychellois and foreigners. Also 33% of the positive cases have taken two doses of vaccines and 67% were not fully vaccinated. Two thirds of positives were close contacts to a positive case and most of them are asymptomatic or having mild symptoms. No death has been recorded among the fully vaccinated.
A total of 69,708 people out of the target population of 70,000 have received the first dose of either Sinopharm or Covishield, representing 99.6 percent of the target, while 61,360 people (88%) have received both doses.
Looking at the seven-day average, Dr Gédéon noted Seychelles is experiencing a downward tendency in the number of positive cases but warned that “we are not saying at this stage that this downward tendency will continue. What is important to say is that we keep practicing preventive measures and we need to fight this pandemic with all the weapons that we have”.
The positive cases recorded from Monday May 10 to Wednesday May 12 are as follows: Monday – 253, Tuesday – 187, and Wednesday ‒ 178.
“These data clearly demonstrate that the vaccination campaigns we have are clearly working and if we were not vaccinated, the situation would have been worse. Soon the Russian-made Sputnik vaccine will be rolled out now that Seychelles has received information on its certificate of analysis,” announced Dr Gédéon.
He also specified that the Sputnik vaccine is stored at -18 degrees Celsius and once it is defrosted, has to be administered within two hours. This means that the vaccine will be administered on the main island of Mahé. Priority will be given to health workers who were not able to take the other two vaccines.
Variant in Seychelles
Regarding further investigations for the Covid-19 variants in Seychelles, Dr Gédéon confirmed that “we have already collected the samples and by the end of this week, they will be sent to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) for testing. With the numbers we are registering, we see that the vaccination is working and we have been working closely with the World Health Organisation in the recent weeks.”
Public health lab v private labs
Currently a debate is ongoing about the result of tests in Seychelles. The public health laboratory is being compared with private laboratories in Seychelles following reports that some tests which came out negative in the private labs were positive in the public health laboratory.
Dr Gédéon explained that the PCR test is quite complex in itself. “If you have done the first test and it is positive, if you do the test a second time and it is negative, it does not mean that the person is not infected. What it means is that the sampling may not have picked up virus material by the time it was sent. That’s because the sampling technique was not adequate or it could be the virus shedding by the person was not happening at the time of the second sampling. Some private practice have come out clear on that. A negative test after a positive test does not negate the initial test.”
Dr Gédéon also confirmed that all people admitted in our public health facilities and isolation facilities have been tested by the public lab. “We are working in collaboration with the private labs in Seychelles so that we ensure that results we obtain are credible and consistent. There has been inter laboratory verification when we exchange samples. This is healthy for the production of reliable data. The public health lab is one lab that has excellent quality assurance and verification is done on a regular basis and we have a WHO consultant working very closely with the lab. Our purpose is to ensure that tests done in the country are good, consistent and reliable.
Health Care Agency chief executive, Dr Danny Louange updated the press on the isolation facilities.
“Currently there are 22 patients at the Family Hospital at Persévérance with five in intensive care and three needing ventilators. There are 26 patients at the Anse Royale Hospital with mild to moderate symptoms and at the Coast Guard facility there are 10 patients. The Hermitte ward at the Seychelles Hospital is now reserved for patients with Covid symptoms and currently there is one patient. In the pediatric ward, four patients are in isolation and on South East Island (Il-di-Swet), Pointe Larue there are 33 patients. At Avani hotel there are 74 people, on Praslin in two guest houses there are 45 people and on La Digue there are 22 people. We have now recorded 32 deaths and more investigations are being done on the recent deaths,” said Dr Louange.
In total, out of the 2,739 active cases, 233 are in government facilities.
Patients at the MIOT Hospital in India
There are some patients and their chaperons (some fifteen of them) who are currently stuck in India at the MIOT hospital after having successful surgeries. Due to the restriction of movement, the patients are unable to come back to Seychelles.
Dr Louange explained that “the ministry is in contact with the management of MIOT and the Seychellois are fine and are safe. We are trying to find ways to bring back the patients safely to Seychelles but we are having some difficulties”.
The patients stuck in India are becoming more worried and have expressed their concerns through different media representatives and even proposed to book their flights through Qatar Airways which flies to Seychelles via Doha.
Dr Louange said he has noted all the concerns and will look into the matter to ease the ordeal of our fellow Seychellois.
Dr Gédéon concluded the press meet which went on for two hours, by saying that “we all have a common enemy which is Covid-19, and we should not become each other’s enemies but instead let’s combat the enemy together.”