Seychelles is free of COVID-19 after 11th patient tests negative
Random tests for COVID-19 will be done on the population of Seychelles over the next several weeks to determine whether there have been infections through community transmission. (Ministerio de Defensa del Perú, Wikimedia) Photo License: CC BY 2.0
(Seychelles News Agency) - All 11 patients in Seychelles who had tested positive for COVID-19 have, after a period of treatment, now tested negative for the virus, Public Health Commissioner Jude Gedeon said Tuesday.
Seychelles has not recorded any new positive cases of the virus since April 5, meaning the island nation is, as of this moment, free of COVID-19.
The chief executive of the Health Care Agency, Danny Louange, said that the last patient to be tested negative has been transferred from the isolation centre at Perseverance to the quarantine centre at Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay.
Louange said that all 71 foreigners that were in quarantine facilities including health professionals from Kenya, health experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and a group of police officers from Botswana, have been discharged. Three people remain in quarantine.
Louange said that the health department is gradually reopening some of its services that had stopped due to COVID-19.
Gedeon emphasised the need for prevention and a way to maintain that is through social distancing in case there is a second wave of the virus.
He said that since the country has eased measures of restrictions people have not been observing social distancing and this was very apparent through how people were gathering at the beach and this is disappointing for people who are making an effort.
Gedeon noted however that there are many people practising the preventive measures very well and following all guidelines given by the Department of Health.
The easing on the restriction of movement is being done under three pillars: vigilance, physical distancing and hygiene.
Random tests for COVID-19 will be done on the population of Seychelles over the next several weeks to determine whether there have been infections through community transmission, said Gedeon.
This is called a prevalence test and Gedeon said people will be chosen at random to find out if they have any signs of antibodies, which will give us an indication whether or not there has been community transmission.
Gedeon gave an overview of the COVID-19 in the world, particularly in Europe, where the majority of visitors to Seychelles come from. He said there has been a downward trend of positive cases in certain countries.
"Aside from England where the number of cases remains significant, other countries like Germany, New Zealand, Spain, and Israel is showing a downward trend in the number of cases. We expect that by the end of May other countries will follow suit. This is one factor being looked at when conducting our risk assessment," said Gedeon.
According to the health commissioner that there are more than 5 million people who have been infected with the virus around the world. There are more than 300 thousand deaths and more than 2.5 million people recuperated from the virus.