The Indian Ocean nation of Seychelles will close down schools, public places, and cancel all sporting events after reporting a surge in infections over the last five days, Health Minister Peggy Vidot said.
Addressing a press conference along with other senior officials, Vidot expressed concern over the “upward trend” in infections in recent days and called upon the population to observe the public restrictions.
Seychelles, which has a population of around 98,000, has inoculated 62 percent of its citizens, the most for any nation in the world. The authorities have been administering the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm and AstraZeneca’s Covishield, the latter manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. Some 50,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine, the first of the two to be rolled out, were donated to Seychelles by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in January.
A total of 50,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine were donated by India as part of its “Vaccine Diplomacy” programme, with another 40,000 doses bought by the island nation.
The tourist-reliant economy was among the first to reopen to international travel after embarking on its ambitious vaccine programme.
On 20 April, Seychelles revised its travel guidelines, asking travellers from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to produce vaccination certificates to be eligible for a tourist visa. The nation has a ban on incoming passengers from Brazil, in view of the Brazilian COVID strain.