Businesses in Seychelles help COVID-19 fight: hotel as quarantine centre, casino donates funds
Gran Kaz casino has donated over SCR600,000 ($43,000) to the health authority to purchase testing kits and a ventilator. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Businesses and private individuals are joining Seychelles' government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic affecting countries worldwide.
While some businesses are donating cash and providing water supplies, one establishment -- Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay resort in the north of the main island -- is providing its entire hotel for quarantine purposes.
The Public Health Commissioner, Jude Gedeon, told SNA on Wednesday that the facility is very useful as it can accommodate a large number of people.
"It has 108 rooms mostly all attached with bathroom facilities. This will allow us on a daily basis to administer people that might have gotten into contact with those infected with the virus. The location is ideal as it allows us to react quickly and transport patients easier than the isolation centre," he said.
Gedeon added that the hotel will also help the ministry of health in terms of quick coordination and staffing.
"It will allow us to better monitor the people in view that they could all be located in one place. Currently, we have two places that we are using as quarantine, now the objective is to move them all to the resort," Gedeon told SNA.
A quarantine centre is a place designated to restrict the movement of people that might have been exposed to any communicable diseases.
Under the Seychelles Public Health Act, provision is made for the health authority to request any facilities or buildings for public health purposes in times of crisis.
Gedeon said that upon discussion with the hotel's management, they agreed to assist so the authority did not have to use its legal power.
SNA did not manage to get in touch with a member of the hotel's management for comment.
Another local business -- Gran Kaz casino -- has donated over SCR600,000 ($43,000) to the health authority to purchase testing kits and a ventilator.
The casino' s marketing and communication manager, Shama Amesbury, told SNA they are assisting in any way they can to curb the spread of the virus.
"We are all living in this country. Grand Kaz has always been a socially responsible company and we realized that everybody has a role to play in this society. People that are sick cannot go to work, thus, they will not be able to assist themselves and their children," she said.
Amesbury added that "our country survives on tourism and due to the fact that we are being affected by the virus, it is affecting our economy and livelihood entirely. The health of the population is also at risk. So it is along that line that we are assisting the ministry of health to stop the spread of this virus."
The willingness to help has also come from people affected by the pandemic and Gedeon said that a lady whose husband is in quarantine has donated 700 bottles of water.
To date, there are seven patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. Among the seven are three Seychellois and four foreigners.