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Seychellois man dies of COVID-19, first pandemic fatality recorded in island nation

Victoria, Seychelles | January 4, 2021, Monday @ 15:13 in National » HEALTH | By: Daniel Laurence Edited by: Sharon Ernesta | Views: 5020
Seychellois man dies of COVID-19, first pandemic fatality recorded in island nation

Seychelles has recorded its first COVID-19 fatality.  (Victor Forgacs) Photo License: CC0 

Seychelles has recorded its first COVID-19 fatality after a 57-year-old Seychellois man who had been hospitalized since New Year’s Eve passed away on Sunday. 

The man, who had been at the Isolation and Treatment Centre at the Ile Perseverance Family Hospital, died from complications from his illness, said a communique from the health authority. 

"This is the first such death occurring in Seychelles, and comes amid a new uptick of COVID-19 cases," said the communique. In a press conference on Monday, the Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan sent his condolences to the family and said he hopes they will be comforted in this difficult time. 

On the issue of the outbreak of community transmission, Ramkalawan said that the situation keeps deteriorating and that everyone should take the situation seriously. There are 16 new cases that have been recorded as of Sunday night, out of which three are from Seychelles' second-most populated island of Praslin. As per last information released on Sunday, the island nation in the western Indian Ocean had a record of 83 positive cases out of which 46 were Seychellois.

President Ramkalawan urged the public to wear their mask and take precautions in order to put the pandemic under control. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

"It is easy to put COVID-19 under control if we all take precautions. We should all be wearing our mask. It is an easy thing to do. This is an appeal from the Ministry of Health also," said Ramkalawan. 

The latest restrictive measures were first put in place on December 30 after Seychelles started experiencing community transmission. Following a high-level meeting on Sunday, the head of state increased the measures including restrictions on movement from one location to another, and encouraging workers to work from home except for those in essential services.

Ramkalawan reiterated that this is not the first time the country is going under restrictive measures and is urging the population to keep following these regulations. The head of state went on to say that more measures will be announced on Tuesday and there might "be shocks as things might not seem as it is." 

Still, in the fight against COVID-19, the health services in Seychelles expect to roll out a health education campaign which will include the vaccination programme later this month.

Seychelles - 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean - recorded its first case of COVID-19 on March 14, 2020. The island nation has since recorded 322 cases; 223 have since recovered.  

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Tags: COVID-19, Isolation and Treatment Centre, Ile Perseverance Family Hospital, President Wavel Ramkalawan

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