News highlight of the week: Dengue fever on the rise

Expat news
Published on 2024-02-16 at 05:23 by Lila Chaleon*
This week in Mauritius brings a mix of economic developments, governmental changes, and ongoing health concerns.

Dengue fever cases on the rise

The dengue fever situation in Mauritius is escalating, with reported cases climbing from 444 to 539 in just a week, according to the latest updates from the Health Department. Since December 11, the island has witnessed a total of 888 reported cases, sadly resulting in a second fatality—a 88-year-old man with underlying health conditions passed away on February 11. This tragic loss follows the death of a 48-year-old woman earlier in February. Even Rodrigues has seen a surge in active cases, with 173 out of a total of 276. Urging swift action, the Ministry of Health advises individuals exhibiting symptoms such as high fever, headaches, body aches, nausea, and skin rashes to promptly seek medical attention at the nearest health facility. Health authorities remain on high alert, implementing enhanced surveillance measures, rapid and PCR testing, and comprehensive patient management, whether in hospital or under home care supervised by the Domiciliary Monitoring Unit.

Foreign investment soars

On the economic front, foreign direct investment in Mauritius has seen a significant uptick, surging by approximately 27% compared to the same period last year. According to a recent report by the Bank of Mauritius, between January and September 2023, foreign direct investment totaled Rs 23.1 billion, compared to Rs 18.2 billion in 2022. Developed countries contributed the lion's share, with Rs 14.1 billion invested, primarily from European sources, injecting nearly Rs 13.5 billion into the Mauritian economy.

Cabinet reshuffle

In political news, the Minister of Agro-Industry and MSM No. 10, Vikram Hurdoyal, has been dismissed, as confirmed by Vice-President of the Republic, Eddy Boissezon, in an official press release. Following this decision, three new ministerial appointments have been announced within the MSM. Navina Ramyad steps into her inaugural role overseeing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Cooperatives. Concurrently, Mahen Seeruttun transitions from the Ministry of Good Governance to helm the Ministry of Agro-Industry, while Sunil Bholah, former Minister for SMEs, assumes leadership of the Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance.

Launch of RuPay in Mauritius

On the technological front, Mauritius marks a significant milestone in digital payments by becoming the first country outside Asia to introduce RuPay cards. This new infrastructure allows customers of Mauritian banks to conduct secure transactions locally and in India. Through the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), Indian users can make real-time digital payments in Mauritius, while Mauritians in India can utilize Mauritius' Instant Payment System (IPS) application. This collaboration between the Bank of Mauritius and the Reserve Bank of India aims to enhance trade and tourism, bolstering Mauritius' stature as an international financial hub.