The alarming COVID-19 situation in Mauritius

Expat news
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Published on 2021-11-19 at 07:04 by Expat.com team
Almost 100 deaths and more than 10,000 cases in just a week. The island's hospitals are reaching saturation point and the staff is exhausted. The situation is dire in Mauritius right now. The government has reviewed the preventive measures and is begging for more respect of the sanitary measures. The booster shot is also recommended.

The numbers

From November 8 to 14, 99 positive patients died and 62 of these deaths were attributed to COVID-19. On Wednesday, November 17 alone, approximately 50 people were admitted to New ENT Hospital, the hospital that welcomes COVID-19 patients. Authorities have also recorded more than 11,000 new infections through PCR or rapid tests. 

Even more worrying, for a little over a month we have been seeing younger and younger COVID-19 victims. Minister of Health, Kailesh Jagutpal revealed that more than 830 children, aged between 5 and 12 years, have tested positive to the new coronavirus.

Hospitals saturated

The health service has been on the front line for more than 18 months now to contain the spread of the virus as much as possible. However, hospital staff are facing various criticisms. Faced with the increase in cases, nurses and doctors are overwhelmed. Hospitals are saturated. The New ENT Hospital, which cares for those severely affected by the virus, has reached saturation point, no more beds available according to sources in the Ministry of Health. Patients are waiting for hours to be tested and even longer to be admitted, if needed.

Members of the various health unions are calling for recruitment to make up for the lack of staff in the various health establishments. In response to this call, Minister Kailesh Jagutpal announced there has been a call for foreign talents to help with the crisis. 

Third dose of vaccine

Is the third dose of vaccine critical to mitigate the rise in infections? Experts think so. As of Wednesday, November 17, 913,774 people have been vaccinated with one dose and 878,510 with two doses. But members of the public have shown little enthusiasm since the authorities announced that a third dose would be desired for the most vulnerable.

For virologists, this third dose could well limit the number of contaminations because the vaccines used on a large scale in Mauritius are only effective over a period of four to six months. Thus, those who were the first to be vaccinated should absolutely go through a third dose in order to be protected.

Reminder of new measures

The Prime Minister has announced new measures to contain the contamination. It is forbidden to hold picnics or gather on the beaches. Bars and discos have closed their doors. Regarding gatherings, they are limited to 50 people. This also includes weddings and funerals. Sports halls and restaurants are now only alowing vaccinated people.

Authorities are adamant, however, that no lockdowns or border closures are planned at this time.

Article translated from Covid-19 : Situation alarmante Maurice