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Measures in place for Coronavirus outbreak

The Public Health Authority today reiterated the measures set up amidst the global outbreak of the novel Coronavirus. This was during an interview with the media to update them on the status of the outbreak globally.

“Yesterday, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” said Dr Jude Gedeon, the Public Health Commissioner. “This means that the outbreak is now global. And, all countries must reinforce the measures in place to prevent further spread of the outbreak and to deal with a case should it be necessary”.

Dr Gedeon also explained that this declaration meant that more resources would be provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) to countries. Already more than 22 countries have reported confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. In Seychelles there are no cases of the novel corona virus. However, some measures have been put in place since the onset of the outbreak in Wuhan China.

The local outbreak response plan was initiated based on existing guidelines and specialised areas for response during a public health emergency. These are Coordination, Surveillance /Laboratory, Case Management and Infection Prevention and control, Risk Communication and Social Mobilization, Control at Points of Entry (PoE) and Logistics and Supplies. Each of these areas have a leader and dedicated team working extensively to ensure effective coordination as the outbreak progresses internationally.

Some of the overall local measures established since the onset of the outbreak include:

  • Intensified surveillance at ports of entry
  • Active and passive surveillance of all passengers arriving from China
  • Alerts sent to all medical services featuring case definitions and necessary steps to take in service delivery
  • Procurement of lab supplies, especially testing kits and reinforced connections with reference labs for confirmation tests if necessary
  • Inventory of PPEs and recording of replenishment needs
  • Activation of various Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that guide the course of action during a public health emergency
  • Preparation of treatment facility and reinforcing of treatment protocol
  • Review and reinforcing of waste management
  • Refresher training for health staff in infection prevention and control
  • Risk communication and Community Engagement team activated to ensure continuous dissemination of information and addressing of public concerns
  • Regular communications via press releases, press conferences, interviews and live programmes that feature on mass media and Department of Health communication channels.
  • Issuing of travel advisories to control travel to and from China
  • Engagement with the local office of the World Health Organization (WHO)

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HEALTH TIP

Protect yourself from COVID-19. Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.