Minister Jagutpal announced that the number of local positive cases of COVID-19 as at 16 00 hours today has reached 127. He gave further details about the contact tracing exercise and underlined that results are obtained at different times of the day, up to midnight whilst adding that the exercise along with mandatory quarantine stay of 14 days are working effectively to detect Covid-19 infections and curtail further propagation.

This was announced by the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Jagutpal, during daily press briefing of the National Communication Committee on COVID-19 at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis. Dr Catherine Gaud also participated.

He added that medical teams are vigorously investigating new clusters and continuous contact tracing exercise is ongoing. The exercise, he said, is being carried out diligently to investigate the social interactions and activities of those being examined, which demands time and extreme caution.

He also indicated that three categories of COVID-19 testing are carried out, namely in COVID testing centres, through contact tracing exercise and on frontliners. Some 400 tests have been carried out on frontliners so far.

Results for Covid-19 tests, he explained, are received at three intervals during the day, that is in the morning, evening and at night, as each batch of swabs necessitates eight hours of processing time in laboratories.

The population was also called upon by the Health Minister, to act responsibly, and abide by strict sanitary measures, including wearing of face masks, maintain social distancing and strict hygiene measures, and to avoid going out unless for urgent purposes, to halt further propagation.

Those who suspect that they have visited places at risk of contamination, or have been in contact with Covid-19 positive patients are invited to call the medical team of the Ministry for testing, on the Hotline 8924, he stated.

He pointed out that over the last 24 hours, some 2500 phone calls have been attended to and 23 persons reporting flu symptoms have received the visit of a medical team for testing.

He also announced that shopping in alphabetical order is not applicable to frontliners, namely health workers and police officers.

As for Dr. Gaud, she announced that the national vaccination programme against COVID-19 will resume on Monday 15 March 2021 and all details will be communicated accordingly. She underlined that the state of health of most patients is stable, except for one who is under close observation.