Seychelles Experiencing COVID-19 Surge, Enforcing Restrictions, Despite Leading World In Vaccination Rate
President of Seychelles Wavel Ramkalawan (R) and Former President of Seychelles Danny Faure (2nd R) wait to receive the first dose of the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine produced by Sinopharm at the Seychelles Hospital in Victoria, on January 10, 2021. - More than 1.9 million people worldwide have now died from the virus, with new variants adding to soaring cases and prompting the re-introduction of restrictions on movement across the globe -- even as some countries begin mass inoculation campaigns.

The Seychelles have the highest rate of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered per 100 people, with the archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, having administered 131 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine per 100 people. However, they are reportedly imposing new lockdown restrictions following a rise in cases, despite their impressive vaccination rate.

According to data from The New York Times, Seychelles has administered a total of 127,721 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 70% of the entire population has received one dose of the vaccine, while 61% of the country is fully vaccinated. Both rates are the highest in the world. By comparison, Israel — which has the second highest rate of doses administered based on population size — has vaccinated 60% of its population, with 56% being fully vaccinated.

The archipelago of nearly 100,000 people recorded close to 500 new cases in the three days to 1 May and has about 1,000 active cases,” reported BBC News, adding that “[m]ore than four-fifths of the active cases were among Seychellois people.”

An element of significant concern is that “[a] third of the active cases involved people who had had two vaccine doses, the country’s news agency said.”

“The rest had either had a single dose or were unvaccinated,” the BBC added.

The restrictions that have been reimposed include the closure of schools and sports activities for two weeks. “Bars, restaurants and shops are to close early and some gatherings have been banned,” added the BBC.

“Despite all the exceptional efforts we are making, the COVID-19 situation in our country is critical right now with many daily cases reported last week,” said Health Minister Peggy Vidot.

According to Bloomberg, Seychelles “acted quickly to begin vaccinations in January using a donation of Chinese vaccines from the United Arab Emirates.”

“By April 12, 59% of the doses administered were Sinopharm vaccines and the rest were Covishield, a version of AstraZeneca Plc’s shot made under license in India,” Bloomberg added.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”

“In indoor public spaces, the vaccination status of other people or whether they are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 is likely unknown. Therefore, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a mask that fits snugly against the sides of your face and doesn’t have gaps, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often, and follow any applicable workplace or school guidance,” the CDC adds.

Risk of travel to Seychelles is defined as “Level 4: Very High” by the CDC.

“Travelers should avoid all travel to Seychelles,” the rating declares. “Because of the current situation in Seychelles even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Seychelles.”

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