Some 38,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in Mauritius on board flight MK 017 which landed at SSR International Airport at 22H40 on 09 May 2021. This consignment of vaccines were delivered under the multi-agency-led initiative which aims at promoting equal access to Covid-19 vaccines throughout the world.
A delegation comprising Ministers of the Government and eminent members of the diplomatic corps & WHO were present at the airport to receive the vaccines on that occasion.
This new lot of vaccines will allow Mauritius to further its vaccination programme and protect more Mauritians against the virus.
The Airport Health Laboratory (AHL) is a state-of-the-art testing facility located at SSR International Airport and which started its operations in October 2020. To date, the AHL has completed more than 24,000 tests. Since the resurgence of local Covid-19 cases, a few weeks ago, some 16,000 tests were completed during the month of March 2021 alone.
The laboratory which works 24/7, uses high-tech testing equipment and is supported by specially designed ICT tools. The overall facility is manned by a dedicated team of highly qualified professionals. All of which gives the AHL the capacity to analyse more than 2500 samples daily. The AHL thus proves to be a key component of the national fight against the pandemic in Mauritius.
AML & ATOL are supporting the National Vaccination Campaign against Covid-19. Part of the Check-In Hall of SSR International Airport has been put at the disposal of the Ministry of Health & Wellness for the vaccination exercise, which restarted today. This part of the terminal is hence regarded as a regional vaccination centre for the southern region of the island.
In addition to airport employees, other frontliners are also undergoing vaccination at the airport.
Dedicated AML & ATOL personnel are also assisting the Ministry in channelling and registration tasks.
As the first days of this New Year unfold, it is encouraging to note that Mauritius has restored its Covid-Safe status, except for a rapidly isolated local contamination case detected a few weeks back.
Thus, since 26 November 2020, no local contamination cases was registered. Furthermore, the strict quarantine protocol has allowed to effectively detect Covid-19 cases among incoming passengers. As at 04 January 2021, there were some 8 active cases in Mauritius, being treated at the dedicated hospital.
The Airport Health Laboratory, which became operational since 15 October 2020 has also been instrumental in the multi-layered detection mechanism deployed at the Mauritian borders. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Mauritius has recorded some 531 cases. Thanks to the advanced detection and treatment procedures, the vast majority of Covid-19 patients were successfully cured.
Indeed, the new year has started with a surge of fresh hope with more than 60 potential vaccines being tested and some of them having already reached final testing stage.
It is further reassuring that many countries such as the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States of America have already endorsed vaccines and started vaccinating their populations. Presently in Mauritius, the authorities are working with international organisations, such as the World Health Organisation and others, towards securing the most suitable vaccines and preparing for vaccination of the local population.
Incoming passengers to Mauritius are now able to download and fill their Public Health Covid-19 Passenger Health Self-Declaration Form and Passenger Locator Form from the website of the Ministry of Health & Wellness.
This will facilitate access to the forms, which need to be downloaded and filled prior to check-in at the departure country. Duly filled forms will have to be presented to the Mauritian Health Authorities upon arrival.
With this new measure, Passengers will be able to pre-fill in the forms at their convenience, prior to taking their flights and will contribute to ease up the formalities and processing for travel amidst the pandemic.
This new high-tech facility which is part of the special set-up for the gradual opening of borders is now operational and is expected to start testing incoming passengers as from Thursday 15 October 2020.
As part of the local protocol in place since the 01 October 2020, nasopharyngeal swabs are effected on all incoming passengers. These were previously sent to the national testing centre in Candos. Henceforth, the swabs will be tested at the airport laboratory itself and it is envisaged that results will be available after a few hours only. This enhancement will allow more rapid testing and confirmation of the status of passengers.
Since the gradual reopening of borders beginning of October 2020, more than 1350 passengers have flown into Mauritius and only 11 were tested Covid-19 positive. This is despite the requirement for all intending passengers to produce a negative PCR test result (effected less than 7 days) prior to embarkation.
As at date, some 35 imported active cases are being treated in the specialised medical centres. Mauritius remains Covid- safe with respect to the absence of local cases in the community.
SSR International Airport has just received the Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) from the Airports Council International (ACI). Our airport thus becomes the first in the Africa region to receive this international accreditation.
It is amidst the Covid-19 pandemic recovery efforts that ACI, with the support of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), developed and launched the AHA programme around end of July 2020. The accreditation aims at enabling airports worldwide to ensure that their sanitary protocols are in line with international standards and also to demonstrate to passengers and other airport stakeholders that health and safety is a priority in the presence circumstances. Hence, the AHA establishes a detailed and measurable framework for assessing airport sanitary protocols.
Our admission to the ACI AHA therefore confirms that the Airport Sanitary Protocol at SSRIA meets the relevant international exigencies.