Address by President Danny Faure on the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation
12 March 2020 | Health
Seychellois brothers and sisters,
Yesterday the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 causing coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, which means it is now a global epidemic.
What does this mean exactly?
This refers to the worldwide spread of a disease. As a result, all countries are at risk and need to take appropriate and sufficient action to protect their populations, and also the global population at large.
It is in this context that I am addressing you tonight. For several weeks now, we have been working together as a team, public and private sector together. With close support from the World Health Organisation, we are collaborating to stop this new coronavirus from entering our country.
Yesterday the Cabinet of Ministers approved a new National Plan. This plan has been formulated with the objective of preventing this virus from entering the country, and if it arrives, to take control of the situation early and reduce its transmission.
Luckily, until now nobody has tested positive for this virus here in Seychelles. Tonight, I would like to thank everybody for this collective effort. This spirit of working together must continue.
Given that the nature of this epidemic has changed and that it is now a pandemic, tonight I am announcing certain additional measures that Government is putting in place to continue protecting and safeguarding our population.
Firstly, a temporary ban on all official overseas travel by public officials. This takes immediate effect.
Secondly, we are postponing all official conferences and gatherings that Government has planned and that Seychelles would have been hosting in March, April and May this year.
Thirdly, to reinforce medical control and surveillance measures, the Department of Immigration will make sure that all passengers disembarking in Seychelles, both Seychellois and foreigners, provide their detailed address and correct contact information whilst in Seychelles. If they change their address, they will have to inform the Public Health Authority.
Finally, I have asked the Defence Forces to assist and support the Department of Health with the implementation of this new National Plan, in addition to other logistics.
Toward the end of this month, we will have to put in place other measures based on the ongoing analysis by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank on the impact of this pandemic on our economy.
People of Seychelles, our health is our shared responsibility. But crucially, our health is our own responsibility.
Let us be sure to follow the advice issued by the Department of Health. It is important that we listen to the radio and follow the news for new information and advice shared by the Department of Health. They are also on social media. It is essential that we stay well-informed and up-to-date with their advice.
Let us avoid sharing false information that can create needless confusion and fear among our population.
Seychellois brothers and sisters,
This is a dynamic situation that is continuously evolving. I would like to reassure you all tonight that Government is monitoring the situation very closely, and will continue to take any necessary steps.
Let us remain well-informed. Let us stay calm. Let us stay united.
As President of the Republic, I am confident that with this spirit of working together as a country, we will be able to contain the spread of this virus and its impacts.
May God continue to protect our people.
Thank you and good evening.