Over the past week, COVID-19 cases have seen an astonishing and unprecedented explosion in Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island that has been relatively spared from the pandemic but is essentially asymptomatic, authorities say.
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The island recorded 1,067 new cases last week, nearly a third of the 3,528 cases identified since the virus was first detected at the site in March 2020, according to official figures.
According to the National Communication Committee (NCC), which is responsible for monitoring the epidemic, infections have mainly occurred in schools, businesses or even migrant worker dormitories.
In response to a question by AFP on Monday about the reasons for this increase, the spokesperson for the National Council for Coordination and Cooperation, Zubair Gomaye, emphasized in particular that “the cases are more and more asymptomatic, causing the barrier gestures to ease.”
He says up to 99% of cases have no symptoms.
“Everything is under control, many of the quarantine centers are by no means saturated and there are no deaths or seriously affected people,” Mr. Jamaye said.
Mauritius, with a population of 1.3 million, started its COVID-19 vaccination campaign at the end of January. The target set by Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnoth was to vaccinate 60% of the population by 2021.
Joomaye explains that “40%” of the Mauritian population received two doses of the vaccine, and “50%” received one dose.
In mid-July, Mauritius began reopening its borders, which have been almost completely closed since the start of the pandemic.
During this first phase toward return to normal, only vaccinated travelers who have received a negative PCR test can enter the area, and they must then undergo a 14-day quarantine.
For now, authorities rule out that the contamination is linked to reopening.
If the pandemic has saved the island relatively from a health point of view, it has severely affected the economy, which is highly dependent on income from tourism.
It is scheduled to reopen the borders completely, without restrictions, on the first of October (October).
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