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Thursday, February 29, 2024

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Covid 19: Delta Variant In Mauritius

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Dr Gaud: It is not in circulation

Dr. Kailesh Jagutpal, Minister of Health, announced the presence of the Delta and Delta Plus variants of Covid-19 in Mauritius. This, after a report of Dr Laurent Mussango, representative of WHO, sequencing. After thorough studies, Dr Catherine Gaud, Immunologist and Advisor at the PMO, reassures that the Covid 19 Delta Variant is not circulating right now on the territory.

Eligible fear?

Restrictions have been eased and activities have partially resumed since July 1st. Tomorrow, schools are opening their doors and as from 15th July, borders are reopening. However, since the proclamation of Vallée des Prêtres and part of Terre Rouge as Red Zone, and the announcement by Dr Kailash Jagutpal concerning the presence of the Covid 19 Delta variant in Mauritius, it causes the fear of a massive contamination by this Delta variant.

Dr Mussango has conducted a study to identify the variants present in Mauritius. Out of 530 samples sent for sequencing, 13 contained variants namely 9 Beta / South African, 2 Alpha/ British and 2 Delta. The Delta is the mutant of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that caused the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the most dominant variant in the world actually and is above 50 % more contagious than the others.

“…there is no need of a psychosis either”

The Variant was discovered on two passengers who have returned to Mauritius. They were in quarantine at the Tarisa Hotel Grand Bay and they have both been cured. There is no active case of Delta variant so far circulating on the territory,” affirms Dr Catherine Gaud. She admits that, “the Delta is more contagious than the other variants and can be contracted by kids and teens also. It is indeed worrisome, but the good aspect is that its secondary effects are not rough and can easily treated by almost all vaccines, be it Pfizer, Astra Zeneca, Covaccine, Sputnik who according to studies guarantees 92 % efficiency and Sinopharm who works very well also as state studies in China. Definitely, we are not out of risk but there is no need of a psychosis either. Each citizen should strictly adopt the sanitary measures. The Terre Rouge contamination illustrates that everybody is not as careful as they are called to be”. She advises every citizen to participate in the target of collective immunity, to get his or her vaccination done, wear mask properly and not on the chin or under the chin or the arm, keep the mask on even when talking, sanitise hands and keep social distancing of 1 meter.

Faster Sequencing in Mauritius

Sequencing of viruses and variants is going to be quicker and more effective. “Most of the urgent sequencing are now conducted at the Laboratory of the Victoria Hospital in Candos, accredited by the WHO. The biggest problem about sending samples for sequencing abroad is that it takes too much time, sometimes months. The sequencing process takes us a minimum of 15 days and we are able to cover more than a dozen of samples weekly. We continue to send or samples to laboratories in South Africa, United Kingdom and Reunion for sequencing but primarily for cross checking of the results our sequenced samples. The only widespread variant in the country is the B.1.1.318” concludes ur Immunologist.

To date, we count 7 new cases from 878 PCR tests. We count  287 active cases of COVID-19 in the country

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