Southern and Eastern Africa COVID-19 Digest (Discontinued on 31 Aug 2020)

Situation Report
Mauritius — Trends

No new local transmissions since 26 April

  • First case: 19 March 2020

  • Total cases: 344 (as of 25 July 2020)

  • Total deaths: 10

  • Schools: Open since 1 July.

  • Borders/Flights: Commercial flights have been suspended since 19 March.

  • Containment measures: 14-day quarantine mandatory for individuals who have had possible exposure to COVID-19.

Situation:

No new COVID-19 cases through local transmission has been detected in Mauritius since 26 April 2020, according to the Ministry of Health. Since then, all the new cases reported on the island have been from passengers who were repatriated to Mauritius and were admitted to quarantine centres upon their arrival. At the end of July, the country had registered 344 positive cases, including 10 deaths.

While borders remain closed, Mauritius lifted, on 15 June, all COVID-19-related restrictions implemented since 20 March. The very strict measures the country had implemented included the citizens only being allowed to leave their homes due to an emergency and shopping organized alphabetically by surname. Schools reopened on 1 July.

Rights groups and lawyers in the country reportedly criticized the Quarantine Act 2020, terming it as controversial and likely to lead to police abuse, according to media reports. The Act, passed on 15 May to address the COVID-19 pandemic, replaces the Quarantine Act from 1954. Activists, quoted by the media, state that the Government took advantage of the strict lockdown situation to pass a controversial bill in just three days, without proper democratic debate. At least five deaths have been reported while in police custody and several cases of police brutality have reportedly been recorded during the two-and-a-half months of confinement, according to the media.

Response:

  • The Government has announced plans to increase general public health spending by Rs208 million (approximately US$5.25 million), with half already disbursed, according to the IMF.

Official sources:

Government of Mauritius Official Twitter and  Government of Mauritius COVID-19 webpage

Other links:

U.S. Embassy in Mauritius Travel Advisory – 14 April 2020

COVID-19 Educational Disruption and Response, by UNESCO

COVID-19 World Travel Restrictions, by the Emergency Division of the World Food Programme (WFP)

Global COVID-19 Airport Status, by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Policy Responses to COVID-19, by IMF

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