2 healthcare workers in Seychelles infected with COVID-19, raising questions about procedures
An infection prevention and control team of the Seychelles Health Care Agency is investigating whether there was a breach of standard operating procedures after two frontline healthcare workers tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.
The two healthcare workers are among nine new cases detected, bringing the total active cases to 11 in the island nation.
The chief executive of the Agency, Danny Louange, told reporters on Monday that the investigation is focusing “on contact tracing but also on whether there was a breach and if there was how can we improve on it.”
The two healthcare staff who tested positive in a routine test were working at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay quarantine facility last week and initial investigation shows that 38 staff were also working at the facility.
“One of them is very down and we are giving both as much support as we can. Having our own caregivers infected is a big blow to us. At this juncture, it is important that we realise that there is a heightened risk of local transmission and we must all take the necessary precautions to keep ourselves safe,” said Louange.
He added that as per the standard operating procedure “if a staff is to have close contact with a client, the person needs to wear the complete personal protective equipment (PPEs). Wearing their protection gears and following all procedures in place makes it safe for the staff to go home after work.”
Family members of the two health workers who are considered as high risk have been placed in the quarantine facility at Avani Barbaron Seychelles resort and the rest are on home quarantine.
The Public Health Commissioner, Jude Gedeon, said when the vaccine becomes available for Seychelles, the front line health workers will be the first to benefit.
“First, it will be our front line personnel, then it will be those who are most at risk, like the elderly, then those who have chronic illnesses which can be aggravated by COVID-19,” he said.
Of the 11 active cases in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian, Gedeon said that a Swiss national is quite serious and is in the intensive care at the Isolation and Treatment Centre at Ile Perseverance’s Family Hospital.
He added that while this patient needs more acute care, he is not critical and is not on a ventilator.