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Covid 19 : A Sordid Series Globally And Locally!

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The Covid 19 never ceases to shock, with 2 deaths being deplored in Mauritius on Thursday 10th March. Covid has caused more than 6 million confirmed deaths and more than 446 million cases since its explosion in the world, according to the UN’s Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. The rate of positive cases fluctuates as much in Mauritius as in Rodrigues. The testing protocols have changed for students. On World’s Kidney Day, observers lament that the Fact-Finding Committee (FFC) report on the Covid-19 dialysis deaths will not be made public.

Suspicious death

The first death announced was that of a 33-year-old patient diagnosed with a skull fracture. She was admitted to the SSRN Hospital in Pamplemousses and then to the New ENT Hospital in Vacoas where the diagnosis was made. However, she did not survive. The police in Montagne Longue has opened an investigation into this unreported skull fracture on admission to the Northern Hospital. The second death involved a 56-year-old resident of Quatre Bornes. His deteriorating condition led to his admission to New ENT Hospital.

Deaths of diabetics – Government’s transparency deplored

Mauritius has about 1500 dialysis patients. On 10th  March, the Health Minister, Kailesh Jagutpal has announced that the long-awaited findings of the Fact-Finding Committee on dialysis patients, who died from Covid-19, would be examined internally. As a reminder, during the parliamentary session on 20th April, after the deaths of 10 dialysis patients in 3 weeks, the Health Minister had said that there was no need for an enquiry and that he was satisfied with the performance of health workers in hospitals. But by 23rd April, the Council of Ministers had decided to set up a Fact Finding Committee but the report was not made public. Observers and members of the Opposition, who have not ceased to send their requests to make the report public, denounce a lack of transparency on the part of the Ministry. They even denounce a politicisation of this Committee, a disregard for the in-depth investigations ordered by the Council of Ministers and former Judge, Deviyanee Beesoondoyal. Some of them demand that a Commission of Inquiry be set up so that legal positions can be taken. They believe that the families of dialysis patients, who died from Covid-19, have a right to know the findings of the FFC.

Status of cases in the ten Mauritian districts

Rodrigues has 46 new cases of the Omicron variant. According to the official page of the Regional Assembly of Rodrigues, the 10th district has counted a total of 9,181 positive cases since 26th January, with 8,674 cured cases. The small island has 489 active cases. The treatment centres report 12 admissions. The rest are self-isolation cases.

In Mauritius, the Ministry of Health reported that there are 144 new cases and 56 admissions. 55 of the admissions were in regional hospitals, where there were also 44 discharges and 1 in New ENT Hospital, which also recorded 2 discharges. Of the 33,496 positive cases recorded since March 2021, 30,039 patients are considered as cured.

Vaccination – uneven distribution!

Vaccination continues with 1,001,181 people for the first dose, 964,614 people for the second dose and 540,833 for the third/booster dose.

The state of immunisation in the world is considered to be chaotic. Management is “shockingly uneven and our world cannot afford a two-tiered recovery from Covid-19“, according to the UN’s Antonio Guterres communiqué to mark the 2-year anniversary of the pandemic. Global daily vaccine production is estimated at 1.5 million, while 3 billion people have not received the first dose.  And worse, according to Antonio Guterres, due to a failure of political and budgetary decisions, health is being prioritised in rich countries rather than poor ones. The Secretary General was not silent about this fact and observed that “this is a recipe for more variants, more confinements and more grief and sacrifices in every country“.

Change in testing protocols

The tests will be strictly reserved for students with apparent symptoms. This decision of the Ministry of Health, communicated on 08th March, is due to the sanitary evolution in schools. Last week, the protocols had undergone a minor change concerning the testing of cases of close contacts with the infected student, that is, students sitting on the right and left sides, front and back.

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