Ministry of Health: Review of restriction measures to contain the spread of COVID 19 in Seychelles
On 29th December 2020, a revised Public Health Order introduced restrictions to help curtail the spread of COVID-19. This order was for a period of 14 days.
This was revised on 3rd January 2021, with additional measures to further restrict movements. These measures were in force until 13th January, subject to revision on 10th January 2021.
The Public Health Emergency Operations Committee (PHEOC) has reviewed the evolution of the COVID 19 surge, the incidence of new cases, the epidemiological profile and distribution of the cases and believe that the restrictions as it stands should be extended for another two weeks, ending on 28th January 2021, for the following reasons.
1. While, on the surface it appears that the main surge in terms of number of tested cases was around 5th and 6th January and they were mainly among the close contacts of the initial cases, new cases are still being detected daily in multiple locations.
2. There are certainly asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases in the community and restricting movements would contribute greatly towards reducing the chance of transmission.
3. The number of new cases being detected on Praslin is increasing.
4. La Digue is registering new cases and contact tracing has been initiated and new cases are expected.
5. All Ministry of Health (MoH) designated isolation facilities are full or near capacity. Time is required to wait out the recovery and management of those in isolation, depending on how the disease progresses.
6. The laboratory needs time to clear backlog and test remaining contacts.
7. The contact tracing exercise around the cases are yet to be completed.
8. The contact tracing capacity are being reinforced to cope with increased load.
9. Cases are appearing in critical manufacturing and service areas and MoH needs to give them more attention for early containment.
10. The vaccination roll out has just started and further surge may compromise staff allocation to the programme.
11. Two weeks will allow all Health Care Workers to complete the first dose of vaccination along with other frontline workers in the country.
12. Return to school, while there is still community transmission will compromise the safety of children and staff and fuel a resurgence in the number of cases.
Everyone is advised to keep interactions to immediate households (the persons you live with) only and to avoid gatherings and crowds. Continue to respect and practice the different measures in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19:
• Wear a mask in public places and where physical distancing cannot be maintained
• Practise hand hygiene regularly
• Avoid gatherings and crowds
• Avoid sharing objects
• Practise physical distancing of more than 1 metre
Source: Press Release Ministry of Health.