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Should Mauritius go into a second COVID19 lockdown?

Mar 9, 2021

Interview - Dr Vasantrao Gujadhur: "The lockdown, the best solution to break the chain of transmission".

The country has already identified eight new positive cases of Covid-19 (editor's note: 10 since the interview was conducted). This figure is likely to increase further. Can we say that Mauritius is facing a second wave?
First, the cluster must be analysed. On the cases, a part comes from Surat staff and one or two other cases are not employees. There may be a family relationship with the employees of the company. The cluster is not only at Surat. The virus is already present in the community. This is serious. For the moment, we do not know the source. It may be elsewhere. The outbreak is outside Surat. Staff members are already in quarantine. They have been walking around everywhere, and if they were contagious at the time, it is quite serious. To answer the question, it seems that we were heading for a second wave. But we must watch and see how the situation evolves. We must wait.

Do you think it is the South African variant that came to us?
Mauritius does not have the capacity to test the variant. Sending the samples and symptoms to England for analysis takes one month. It is important to know that the person who was at the church (Editor's note: Full Gospel Church of God) was detected first - perhaps he or she is not the first person. She was at a prayer session on a Sunday (Editor's note, February 28). She became ill 2-3 days before and tested positive on Thursday. There is a possibility that she was already contagious. Symptom, no symptoms, there are a lot of pre-symptomatic. They need to be monitored. That is why I said we must do antibody tests. There are people who may have been sick and are cured. These serological tests will be able to determine whether they needed antibodies.

Is a second confinement the best solution?
The lockdown is the best solution because Mauritians do not respect barrier gestures. But the lockdown is not for the moment. I was in Port-Louis this morning (Editor's note: Sunday 7th March 2021) and I saw the behaviour of the people. Most were not wearing masks. As if nothing had happened. There has been a complete slackening of the population. They need to pull themselves together. The chain of transmission must be broken. Everyone isolates themselves and apply sanitary measures. And in parallel, continue with PCR tests. I advise everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The faster the better. If we increase the frequency of vaccination, we will reduce or even break the chain of transmission.

Translated from French orignal source www.lexpress.mu.

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