On Friday, April 17, Seychellois authorities introduced further restrictions on movement, effective immediately through Wednesday, April 29, to combat further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the measures, individuals will be required to remain at home from 19:00 until 06:00 (local time), with the exception of essential workers, and shops will only be allowed to open between 06:30 and 18:00. Workers in essential services will be permitted to go to work during daytime hours, but only critical workers will be allowed to work beyond the 19:00 cut-off time. Authorities plan to release a list of those classified as critical workers. Additional checkpoints and extended patrols will be introduced by the police force to ensure compliance with the measures.
On Wednesday, April 8, Seychellois authorities ordered a nationwide 21-day lockdown, effective 00:00 (local time) on Thursday, April 9, to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Per the directives, nonessential businesses have been ordered to shut down, and the movement of all residents is restricted. Additionally, all flight operations at Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) have been halted through the end of April.
As of April 17, there have been 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide. Further international spread of the virus is expected.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.