President of Seychelles confident in COVID-19 health measures as nation re-opens its doors to world
The head of state spoke Tuesday after his return to the islands from a three-day official visit to Qatar. (State House)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The president of Seychelles said that he is encouraged and confident in the national health measures taken to protect the island nation as the country reopens to the world on Thursday.
President Wavel Ramkalawan added that the number of flights poised to come to Seychelles and their provisional bookings is very encouraging.
The head of state spoke Tuesday after his return to the islands from a three-day official visit to Qatar, where he also observed new travel measures in place at the Hamad International Airport. The presidential delegation visited the airport to see the measures being implemented to ensure the safety of airport staff, passengers and the country.
Ramkalawan said that on the eve of the island nation's re-opening, such insight on new safety measures and new procedures are crucial for the country.
"Seychelles is first in the world in terms of vaccinations. This week people have started to take their second dose of COVISHIELD. We have more than 63,000 who have already taken their first dose. With only Sinopharm we were 40 percent and when this weekends, we would have 50 percent of people who would have taken their second dose," said Ramkalawan.
|The head of state spoke Tuesday after his return to the islands from a three-day official visit to Qatar, where he also observed new travel measures in place at the Hamad International Airport. The presidential delegation visited the airport to see the measures being implemented to ensure the safety of airport staff, passengers and the country. (State House Facebook) Photo license: CC-BY|
The head of state said that even if there is a cluster of infection, those infected had already taken their first doses and the situation could be controlled adding that these are all positive signs that decisions taken are good and the country is on the right track where management of the pandemic is concerned.
The president said that COVID-19 infection numbers for the last two days are very encouraging and noted that schools are now open and that Seychelles is learning to live with the pandemic. The head of state added that the reopening of the island nation's international airport brings a lot of excitement.
"As of next week, there will be more than 28 flights set to fly to the country. We have the Israel market which has given Seychelles the green light. So, the Israelis can now come to Seychelles. There is El Al, Air Seychelles and ARKIA, three airlines that will operate on this route. Emirates will soon start operating one fight per day, to start, and there is the possibility to increase, and looking at their reservation for this week, this week they will bring more than a thousand visitors," explained Ramkalawan.
The president added that other positive signs include the return of Aeroflot, which will now operate a bigger plane twice weekly to the islands as of April 2.
Other flights set to come back to Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – include Edelweiss, Air Mauritius and Condor among others.