Covid-19 Update Flattening of the curve and downward trend continues |28 May 2021
As of May 25, Seychelles has 1169 active Covid-19 cases including 251 from Praslin and 12 from La Digue. Out of the 11,145 cumulative confirmed cases, 9,936 have recovered and there have been 40 deaths including three foreign seafarers.
These figures were shared by the Public Health Commissioner Dr Jude Gédéon and Dr Danny Louange, the chief executive of the Health Care Agency at the weekly press meet yesterday at the Sheikh Khalifa diagnostic centre.
“We have noticed that a quarter of the cases is on the inner islands and our focus is on the inner islands. We are making a special call to the people on the islands to follow the measures put forward by the Ministry of Health. We continue to monitor the downward trend and in the past few days we had one big cluster in a construction company at Baie Lazare. We have also seen a flattening from the seven days average and we hope that we will continue the downward trend and the public need to observe the preventive measures.”
Dr Gédéon once again reiterated that “most of the people who are admitted to the hospital have not been vaccinated or not fully vaccinated. To date, we have not registered the death of anyone who has been fully vaccinated. We have also noticed that our reproduction rate, the ability of the virus to transmit to other people, has dropped to below 1. This is very encouraging for us and we will double our effort to make it go further down. We will continue with our preventive measures in order to contain the pandemic.”
On Sunday May 23, one hundred and seven (107) people were tested positive, Monday May 14 recorded 117 positive cases and Tuesday May 25 saw 118 positive cases.
To note, the 50 samples collected that were supposed to be sent to Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) for testing have not been able to be shipped due to non-availability of flights. “The week-end flights cannot guarantee that the samples will reach the institute on time and the samples will be shipped to Kenya this Monday.
Some important observations with the current situation: “Among those infected 90% are Seychellois and 10% are foreigners (GOP holders/seafarers/ visitors). The flattening of weekly rolling average was plateaued mainly due to infection in a cluster. Despite all this, community transmission continues and incidence remains significant as 80% admissions are unvaccinated. Relative risk of contracting Covid- 19 is about 6 times higher among the unvaccinated compared to fully vaccinated group.
Important preventive messages
As schools (both public and private) resume in-person teaching as from Monday May 31, Dr Gedeon is urging parents not to send their children to school if they have been in contact with a positive patient.
“We are working closely with the Ministry of Education and the re-opening of the schools will be done in phases as per their announcement. Do not send children who are in quarantine or isolaton to school and maintain preventive measures at all times.”
Parents and the community are being encouraged to be more vigilant when the mask is off, eg. during breaks, when talking to others face to face.
“Each one of us should respect guidance given by the health team at all time and a special call for all those who took only the first dose of Covishield to come take their second dose as it will be expired. There is a risk of about 4000 people not coming for their second dose of vaccine and this will be a missed opportunity.
Hospital and quarantine issues
Dr Louange shared that “currently there 17 patients at the Family Hospital with three needing ventilators. Anse Royale Hospital have 8 patients and Seychelles Hospital three. Isolation at the Coast Guard Facility (13), Avani Hotel (7), Ile du Swet (22). On Praslin there are 50 patients in isolation and six on La Digue.”
Dr Louange also talked about the recent infections at the North East Point Hospice. “Yes we did have some staff infected but we managed the situation by sending more staff there to help. In order to better control the situation, all health staff are being tested at least once a week.”
Fatality rate/reproduction rate
Regarding the fatality rate, Dr Gedeon noted that “the fatality rate of the ongoing Covid-19 is 0.35 compared to many island states like us. The Case Fatality rate (CFR) is the ratio between confirmed deaths and confirmed cases. During an outbreak of a pandemic the CFR is a poor measure of the mortality risk of the disease. Currently Seychelles is 0.35% , Israel – 0.76%, Cape Verde – 0.88%, Mauritius -1.31%, Haiti – 2.07%, World - 2.08% and Europe 2.29%.”
The reproduction rate of Covid-19 represents the average number of new infections caused by a single infected individual. If the rate is greater than 1, the infection is able to spread in the population. If it is below 1, the number of cases occurring in the population will gradually decrease to Zero. “Seychelles is currently rated at 0.82 compared to Israel rated at 0.74 and Italy 0.68.”
Ongoing vaccination programme
From May 31 to Friday June 4 the vaccination will be ongoing. Members of the public are reminded that the vaccination centres at Anse Royale, Beoliere and Beau Vallon are closed. “Anyone who has not received the second dose of Covishield should report to ICCS for vaccination from Monday May 31 to Thursday June 3. The La Digue people should contact their health centre for the second dose vaccination and on Praslin the vaccination continues on the already set days. We remind the public that the last day they can take their second dose of Covishield is Friday June 4. This is because the current stock will expire and we do not know when we will get the next batch,” explained Dr Gedeon.
Dr Gedeon once again urged all the people to respect the guidance given by the health teamand stay focused on our fight against Covid-19.