Health authorities in Seychelles ready for increase in COVID-19 test demand with re-opening of borders
Louange said that in the past few days there has been an increase in testing from 200 to 400 done in the laboratory. (IAEA Imagebank/Flickr) Photo License: CC BY 2.0
(Seychelles News Agency) - The health authorities in Seychelles will be able to cater for an increase in requests for exit PCR tests now that the island nation has more widely reopened its borders for visitors, said a top official.
The island nation reopened on Thursday with the aim of relaunching its tourism industry, but more visitors will mean more exit tests.
The chief executive of the Health Care Agency, Danny Louange, told a press conference that although the capacity for doing tests will need to be increased, the Agency will be able to cope.
He said, however, that the Agency is looking closely into reinforcing capacity to cater for an increase in demand.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has set up four main testing stations: Music Stadium, Beau Vallon, Anse Royale and Anse Boileau.
“These stations are for people who are travelling and those who have had close contacts with a positive case. We also have other facilities that are doing swabbing and these are clinics,” he added.
Louange said that in the past few days there has been an increase in testing from 200 to 400 done in the laboratory.
“When we’ve evaluated the capacity of the laboratory we are looking into the possibility of increasing the number to bring it to around 1,000 per day. We can push it further to 3,000 per day," he added.
In order to do more tests, Louange said that the Agency will have to consider extending the opening hours of the testing stations and increase the number of testing stations.
“This will bring us to looking in our human resource and also how to make the process more efficient by using electronic systems. There is a team looking into that,” he added.
The Health Care Agency will have assistance that will facilitate advance planning from the Ministry of Transport.
Magalie Essack from the Ministry of Transport said “through the Travizory platform we are working on a reporting system. When a client makes a travel authorisation to visit Seychelles, we collect the information on when they are leaving the country from there a report from the company will be given to the Ministry of Health so they can prepare in advance for the exit PCR tests.”
Meanwhile, Seychelles has recorded a total of 3,995 cases of COVID-19 and 20 deaths. There are presently 654 active cases.
The island nation’s vaccination programme continues and to date, 63,100 people have received a first dose which is 90 percent of the population target of 70,000. A total of 31,372 have received both doses amounting to 45 percent of the target.