Covid-19 update |02 July 2021
Six fully vaccinated persons among 71 deaths
• Slow gradual drop in number of cases
As of yesterday, July 1, 2021, Seychelles has recorded 71 deaths with Covid-19 related illness.
Six among the 71 were fully vaccinated – 5 with Covishield and one with Sinopharm vaccines.
There are currently 1,135 active cases including 140 cases on Praslin and 50 cases on La Digue. So far out of the 15,857 cumulative cases, 14,651 have recovered.
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. They were accompanied by Anita Bonne from the Disease Surveillance and Response Unit.
“The mortality rate remains at 0.4% and that is probably largely due to the rate of vaccination in the country given the fact that we know there are several variants in circulation. In terms of distribution of cases, 85% of cases are on Mahé, 11% on Praslin (population of 8737) and 4% on La Digue (population of 2951). Over the past two weeks, we have registered a slow gradual drop in the number of cases. It should get better. In terms of mortality so far we have registered 71 persons who have sadly passed away with Covid-19 and of those 6 of them had been fully vaccinated – five with Covishield and one with Sinopharm. The deaths are among people who had underlying health conditions. Out of the number of deaths, 39 are male and 32 female. 47 deaths were recorded on Mahé, 21 on Praslin and 3 on La Digue,” explained Dr Gédéon.
Dr Louange affirmed that currently there are 19 patients at the Family Hospital. “Four patients are under ventilators and the rest are quite stable. In the new Coast Guard facility there are 18 patients; eight at the Old Coast Guard; three (2 children and one adult) at the Seychelles Hospital; 20 on La Digue and 15 on Praslin. We have restarted our vaccination campaign of Sinopharm with the administration of the first dose. In the first batch there are a number of people who had taken the first dose and did not turn up for their second dose. Now is the time to do so and do not miss the opportunity to take your vaccine,” urged Dr Louange.
Dr Louange also noted that the ward on Baie Ste Anne Praslin is not closed down but they have rather changed strategy. “Patients that are having symptoms are being transferred to Mahé as the symptoms change rapidly. We would like also to remind people not to send parcels for their loved ones admitted in the government facilities as they are provided with the basic necessities.”
Regarding the admission of two mentally sick patients in one of the isolation centres, Dr Louange expressed his regrets about this situation and noted that they have reviewed their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the admission of such patients.
Treatment of other patients
There are still concerns coming from patients with cancer or heart disease expressing that they are not receiving proper attention. Once again Dr Louange reiterated that the concerned patients should not just call and walk in the hospitals. “Instead they have to speak to the nurse manager and he/she will arrange for a visit with the specialist or even arrange for the supply of medicines. Currently many of the staff are being deployed to help with the management of the pandemic. If the surge goes down, with the help of the public, we will be able to resume our services fully.”
Dr Gedeon, noted that “in Seychelles, there are three variants – Alpha, Beta and Delta. Based on the genomic studies, we saw a predominance of the Beta variant in Seychelles. It looks like Delta came in Seychelles in May which explains the surge at the beginning of May. We presume that the majority of cases we got in May was from that variant. Most of the resurgence in the world is caused mainly by the Delta variant. This pattern is being repeated in many countries and another fact is that this variant is easily transmissible and more infectious. Another observation is that the course of illness is longer and younger people in Seychelles are being affected. I must say it was a hard task to cope with this type of variant. We are hoping in the coming weeks to better manage the situation which will help bring the cases down and this will depend largely on the decisions/actions we take as a country and as individuals. For the last three weeks a team of experts from the World Health Organisation and Africa CDC is working with us to evaluate our vaccination rate, data and responses. After that they will produce a report which will help us decide on the strategy to be used moving forward in terms of vaccination, measures etc. They have already recommended that we do frequent genomic studies in order to better know the variant of concerns that are circulating in the country. Even the decision of taking a booster will partly depend on the assessment made and guidance coming from international organizations”.
Both doctors urged the public to take their responsibilities and do not behave as if they need ‘babysitters’ or even be a ‘kontroler bis’.
“We want to become like Singapore, but at the same time we are not ready to adopt the same discipline as the Singaporeans! If you see the environment is not conducive and people are not respecting the health guidelines, it is also your responsibility to keep away from that place. You cannot rely on the government to tell you at every moment how to behave! Take your responsibility and help us contain the spread of the virus,” concluded Dr Gédéon.