The cases of Covid-19 have experienced over the past week a spectacular and unprecedented explosion in Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean relatively spared from the pandemic, but they are essentially asymptomatic, say the authorities.
The island recorded 1,067 new cases last week, or about a third of the 3,528 identified since the virus was first detected on site in March 2020, according to official figures.
According to the National Communication Committee (NCC), in charge of monitoring the epidemic, the contaminations mainly took place in schools, businesses or even the dormitories of immigrant workers.
Asked Monday by AFP on the reasons for this surge, the spokesperson of the NCC, Zouberr Joomaye, underlines in particular that “the cases are more and more asymptomatic, which caused a relaxation of the barrier gestures”. As many as 99% of cases are asymptomatic, he says.
“Everything is under control, the many quarantine centers are by no means saturated and there are no deaths, nor people seriously affected,” said Zouberr Joomaye.
Mauritius, which has 1.3 million inhabitants, began its Covid-19 vaccination campaign at the end of January. The goal set by Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth was to vaccinate 60% of the population by 2021.
Zouberr Joomaye specifies that “40%” of Mauritians received two doses of the vaccine, and “50%” received one.
Reopening of borders mid-July
In mid-July, Mauritius began reopening its borders, almost completely closed since the start of the pandemic.
During this first phase towards a return to normal, only vaccinated travelers with a negative PCR test can enter the territory, and must then undergo a 14-day quarantine.
The authorities exclude for the moment that the contaminations are linked to this reopening.
If the pandemic has relatively spared the island from a health point of view, it has severely affected the economy, which is very dependent on income from tourism. The full reopening of the borders, without restrictions, is scheduled for October 1.
Original article published on BFMTV.com