Seychelles back down to only 1 active COVID-19 case; testing capacity ramping up
The remaining seafarer still in isolation will be released by Wednesday morning. (Victor Forgacs) Photo License: CC0
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles has only one active case of COVID-19 left among the 109 seafarers who tested positive, a top health official said on Tuesday.
The Public Health Commissioner, Jude Gedeon, told a press conference that the vessels of the Spanish fishing fleet operating in the Seychelles' waters have been gradually released.
The remaining seafarer still in isolation will be released by Wednesday morning.
"By tomorrow there will be no fishing vessel in quarantine. We are pleased to announce that nobody got major complications. This means we've managed the situation of the West African seafarers and we are closing this page," said Gedeon.
The Public Health Commissioner said there are many queries on where to request for a COVID test in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
People leaving Seychelles can make a booking for a test by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 4388410. There is a station at the Maison de Football at Roche Caiman which is open from 8 a.m. to 12 noon where samples are collected and sent to the laboratory for testing. Other stations will be set up at Anse Royale Health Centre to cover the south region, Anse Boileau Health Centre for the west and one at Baie Ste Anne Health Centre to cover Praslin and La Digue.
After a revision in the price, a test now costs SCR2,500 ($140) and is free of charge for children under 12, Seychellois over age 63 and foreigners over 65. Results are usually ready after 48 hours.
Gedeon said the Department of Health is currently focusing its attention on the reopening this week of the Seychelles International Airport for commercial flights.
"Since the opening of the airport, we have 856 people who have entered Seychelles, among them 359 by Emirates, 497 private and 160 Seychellois and resident permit holders. We know about the number of people coming in because our surveillance can track them from the database," he said.
Gedeon also said that not all passengers are submitting their negative PCR tests prior to travelling.
"Not everyone is sending their results prior to travelling as per our guidelines and we are getting only 60-70 percent results coming in," he said.
"We had a Seychellois who was coming from the UK who had not looked at the result which was positive and made a booking online. When we saw the positive results we alerted Emirates which had also picked out the result when the passenger was checking in," said Gedeon.
He said that this is not the first time this happened which is why when passengers arrive in Seychelles they must produce their negative PCR test at the airport.