Victoria, Mahé (Seychelles) – March 23, 2020 (travelindex) – The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has almost reached 300,000 in 175 different countries, territories and areas. All European countries have registered confirmed cases, with the rate of infection rising rapidly even where restrictive measures are being taken. WHO has declared Europe as the present epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a significant increase in numbers and community transmission of new infections.
According to the WHO situation report of 19th March 2020, the total number of deaths globally stands at over 11,000 and Italy is now the country with the most deaths, reporting half the total deaths worldwide on 19th March 2020.
The epidemic does not show signs of slowing down in most places. Community transmission is now occurring to different degrees on all continents. The United States of America (USA) and Australia have also reported a significant increase in the number of new cases. Countries in the African region have also reported new cases. These include South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Mauritius. Containment will continue to be a challenge worldwide and countries are gradually implementing stricter measures.
Flight bookings and arrivals into Seychelles have already significantly declined, showing signs of adverse impact of COVID-19 on the tourism and other industries. However, with the outbreak escalating in Europe, the epicentre, the possibility of having more passengers infected with COVID-19 who have already arrived in Seychelles, remains. Seychelles needs to continue focusing its resources on dealing with the current situation locally and mitigating the impact of the outbreak on its citizens, hence the implementation of the following measures.