Speeches

Address by President Danny Faure on the COVID-19 situation: 14 April 2020

14 April 2020 |

Compatriots,
Seychellois brothers and sisters, 

COVID-19 continues to devastate communities worldwide. As of today, more than 2 million people around the world have been infected with the coronavirus. More than 120, 000 people have died from COVID-19. This is more than the entire population of Seychelles.

Our world is facing a common enemy. Today, as a people that have always welcomed others and as a nation that knows the value of unity, we express our solidarity with countries and people around the world at war with this virus.

Here in Seychelles, our situation is as follows:

  1. There is no longer anybody in home quarantine.
  2. We have 65 people in quarantine at Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay and 8 people at the Coast Guard quarantine centre.
  3. Among the 11 patients that tested positive for the coronavirus, 2 have been cured having consistently tested negative on several occasions. 3 others have tested negative for the first time and are awaiting additional negative tests before being declared cured. The Dutch gentleman is recovering and is also waiting for his additional COVID-19 tests to come back negative.
  4. As of today, we have carried out 426 rapid tests among contacts and none of them have COVID-19.
  5. We have also carried out 280 PCR tests, that is, confirmatory testing, and until today, we have had only these 11 cases that tested positive.
  6. We continue to carry out contact tracing, and I would like to thank everyone who has come forward with information. Thank you for your cooperation.

Last week, on 9 April, measures restricting the movement of our people came into force.

Faced with the possibility that there could be community transmission of COVID-19, we took these measures early to take control of the situation, and break the chain of transmission. The virus moves quickly, and so must we. 

We are moving into this next phase of our response early, to avoid our health system being overwhelmed. We cannot afford complacency. This is why we must continue to respect measures from the Department of Health. We all have a role to play.

I know that young people at home want to return to school, they want to see their friends. I know that employees want to return to work. I know that businesses want to reopen. In other words, we all want life to return to normal.

For us to go back to normal, it is crucial that we each play our role to help break the chain of community transmission. Your actions will be critical to our collective ability to stop the spread of COVID-19. If we all stay at home except for essentials, and follow physical distancing whenever we do go out, there will not be any new cases of COVID-19 in the country and we will gradually be able to lift certain measures.

I do not underestimate the gravity of what is being asked of you. I know that following these measures is not easy. What we should realise today is that we must stop the transmission of this virus in our community at all costs, and we can. Our future depends on the effort each one of us makes to protect and safeguard us. If after this period we have been successful, we hope we will be able to ease up on restrictions. If we have not, we will find ourselves living with them for longer. This is why following the measures in place matters.

Seychellois brothers and sisters,

Following a meeting I had this morning with the Law Enforcement Committee and consultation with the Public Health Commissioner, Doctor Jude Gedeon, we see that people are still moving around at night, which poses a grave danger to public health.

So, in line with the law that is in force regarding the Public Health Emergency, there is a need to put in place two additional measures.

Tonight, I would like to announce that from Friday 17 April, we will have further restrictions on the movement of people from 7 pm in the evening until 6 am in the morning. This measure will stay in place until 29 April. 

During this period, only the police with the support of the army will be on the road, except for certain key workers in critical services. Given the nature of their work, they will get special permission to move around in this period. The list of critical services will be published by the Public Health Commissioner.

Secondly, all shops will close from 6 pm in the evening until 6.30 am the next morning. This also enters in force from Friday 17 April.

Tonight I ask the population to respect the law entering in force this Friday. Our plan is simple. We can stop the spread by staying at home and reducing contact. Now is the time to act. If we all act responsibly and cooperate fully, we will break the chain of transmission of COVID-19 in Seychelles and we will be able to regain some elements of pre-pandemic life.

The next 2 weeks ahead are 2 critical weeks for us all. For the next 2 weeks I ask each of us to extend our maximum cooperation. Everyone outside essential services should stay at home, and stop all interactions with those outside your household. Obey the rules. Follow guidance from the Department of Health carefully.

Tonight, I would like to thank all of our citizens that have taken their responsibility seriously, that have observed and followed all of the measures and advice from the Department of Health. I say to you all: thank you for your cooperation and sense of solidarity. Thank you for doing the right thing.

Seychellois brothers and sisters,

I recognise and I express my gratitude for this health system that many generations have worked hard to build. Our mission today is very clear: protect the health of all Seychellois with no exception. Let us appreciate what we have, recognising that we need to work harder together to improve it.

I thank all our health workers, our volunteers, and all others for their exceptional work. I thank their family, their loved ones and those who are caring for them during this difficult time.

I have a special note of gratitude for all those in essential services for their hard work, sacrifice and commitment.

Seychellois brothers and sisters,

I know that each one of us is doing our own reflection. One thing that is clear to me is that this pandemic is giving us a more profound understanding of what is important. Life, family and friendship. Community support, solidarity and unity.

This is an extraordinary moment in our lives where each of us, we have a role to play to protect our country. None of us can do this alone. We are in this together. Together, as one family. This is what the Seychellois nation is all about.

I would like to share with you the words of a young 14 year-old, who told me that listening to the radio and watching the news, she appreciates how Seychelles is focused on containing the spread of COVID-19 in Seychelles.

Her spirit has not been consumed by negativity or fake propaganda. Her generation has understood that in such a situation, in order for us to confront this virus and come out victorious, we need to always be on our guard. I salute her and her generation.

In 10 years, this generation will be a part of our workforce. They will have many challenges to overcome. But if they continue to champion this spirit of positivity, understanding, and solidarity, they will succeed.

These are the values that will help us defeat this pandemic, one of the biggest threats to our existence today. We have everything we need to declare a victory over COVID-19 in Seychelles once and for all.

Let us stay well-informed. Let us stay calm. Let us stay united. For our own well-being and the well-being of our country.

May God continue to bless our Seychelles and protect our people.

Thank you and good evening. 

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