Health professionals in Seychelles find the island nation's COVID-19 quarantine and isolation centres challenging since they were not designed for their current purpose, but the doctor in charge noted and celebrated the fact that no health workers caring for COVID patients have been infected.
Dr Josapha Joanneau told a press conference on Tuesday that health personnel "are still adapting to the facilities being used as a quarantine centre. Luckily the World Health Organization has recognized the difficulties that we are facing in terms of administering a large number of people at those centres.”
Jouanneau said that the health staff at those centres are also dealing with the physiological aspects of COVID-19. “We are trying our best to provide a comfortable environment for our clients even though some are complaining that their movements are being limited or restricted. However, this is the real purpose of being in quarantine. The aim is to ensure that you have little access with others so that it can be easy to break the chain of transmission if there is any,” said Joanneau.
The doctor added that “we are also taking this opportunity in quarantine to explain to people about the importance of taking standard precautionary measures such as maintaining good hygiene.”
There are no new cases of COVID-19 since last week when three new positives cases were announced among seafarers working on Spanish tuna vessels in Seychelles. Those three brought the total number of COVID cases on the island nation to 136, out of which 127 have recovered. In all 59 people are in quarantine including those at the main quarantine facility at Berjaya Hotel on the main island of Mahe.
As of this week, the Family Hospital at Perseverance which is being used as the main facility for treating COVID-19 patients is empty, as the 9 active cases are seafarers who are in isolation onboard their ships.
“Since we started administering cases of COVID-19, I am glad to say that none of our health staff has been infected. There are also people coming to the quarantine centre with other health conditions. They are transferred to the isolation centre to receive treatment even though the ailment is not related to COVID-19,” said Joanneau.
Also at last week’s press conference, the Public Health Department said that it has revised the list of countries from which visitors are permitted to travel to Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. As of last week, 28 countries are on the list compared to 31 countries for the week before.
The medical officer also said that passengers coming to Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, from high-risk countries will still be transferred to the quarantine centres.