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Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Mauritius Remains Under The Post-Emnati Influence : No Schools And No Vaccination This Monday

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Cyclone Emnati is still a danger even if the alert 4 has been lifted at 4.10 pm on Sunday 20th February. It is moving away in a West-South-West trajectory at a reduced speed of about 10 km/h but the storm leaves behind strong winds and gusts up to 90 km/h and strong swells, up to 5 metres. Agalega also remains under the influence of the storm. As such, a high swell warning remains in force in Agalega for the next 24 hours.

Strong wind and swell warning

The Metrological Station in Vacoas has issued a warning of strong winds and heavy swells, which may last for a minimum of ten hours. Caution is advised in the Northern and Western coastal areas, as flooding in low-lying areas is not to be ruled out.  Fishermen and the public are strongly advised against going out to sea or to the beach. As part of the National Emergency Operations Command’s (NEOC) post-hurricane advice, the public is advised to beware of flying debris, broken branches or falling trees, to avoid manoeuvring on tall buildings and other structures, be very careful when driving and should stay away from pylons and power lines. The public should also boil water before drinking, avoid collecting and eating fruits on ground and remove stagnant water to avoid mosquito breeding. The authorities can be contacted on the following emergency lines: Police: 999, EMS: 114, MFRS: 115, Telmet: 171, 8996, CWA: 170, CEB: 130.

The general assessment of the Emati storm is that it was less disastrous than Batsirai. As the SAMU was unable to circulate during alert 4, the Special Mobile Force helped by transporting 23 patients to the hospital in an armoured vehicle.

Establishments closed on Monday 21

Mauritius also remains under the influence of cloud bands.  It is expected that there will be moderate to heavy rains, depending the region. The weather is not likely to improve at the beginning of the week. The Ministry of Health has cancelled all vaccination campaigns for this Monday 21st February. The Ministry of Education has announced that all face-to-face classes will be postponed until Tuesday 22nd February.  “There will be no face-to-face classes in pre-primary, primary, secondary, Special Education Needs schools, technical and vocational education centres including those of MITD and Polytechnics Mauritius Ltd and higher education institutions tomorrow,” as provided in the statement. On the other hand, the heads of schools and non-teaching staff will have to be present for an assessment of the situation. Nevertheless, the crèches will be able to operate on Monday, but in compliance with the sanitary and post-cyclone standards.

Resumption – Improvement of protocols requested

The resumption of work on 22nd February is likely to be difficult. With the resurgence of Covid cases in schools, parents have taken their stand concerning the government decisions. Many have decided not to send their children to school and the rate of absenteeism is enormous. Parents are demanding improved protocols. The United Deputy Rectors and Rectors Union (UDRRU) has also called for improved protocols, saying that screening on the third day would be more effective. The Union is also calling for a review of the protocols for the benefit of educators and administration who are under pressure. They are also asking for an increase in the fleet of buses and school transport to ensure social distancing, but above all, a good awareness campaign for students on barrier gestures and the pandemic situation with which they have no choice but to evolve.

Covid 19 – A death in Rodrigues

The Covid 19 situation remains an integral news item. In Mauritius, figures during the weekends are no longer reported! Rodrigues, on the other hand, has recorded 181 new cases at the last count. The total number of cases is 7651. With 4591 cured cases, the active cases are now 3053. Rodrigues recorded its 9th death linked to the Omicron variant during Saturday night. The patient was 70 years old and was admitted to the isolation centre in Mont-Lubin. He was also suffering from cancer and died during the night.

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