Six Seychellois citizens who work with one of the ground agents of the Spanish fishing fleet operating in the Seychelles’ waters have tested positive for COVID-19, said the Public Health Commissioner on Wednesday.

Jude Gedeon told a press conference that as part of the procedures in place, the Department of Health performed PCR tests on people who had been in contact with the seafarers who previously had tested positive.

“During these tests so far we have picked up six people who had tested positive and retesting have been done last night and they were confirmed to be true positive cases. Since the first test was done they were admitted in the isolation facility. They remain without any symptoms but are being kept under observation and monitoring,” said Gedeon.

The six men are truck drivers and handymen who handle ground transportation, and Gedeon said that according to the information received the six men had no contact with the seafarers or the vessels.

While it is not yet clear exactly how the six Seychellois caught the virus, Gedeon said that theirs are local cases, as it is possible to identify the source of their infection. However, these could spread into the community and it is for this reason that contact tracing is being done.

He said that the close contacts of the six Seychellois are being contacted and they will be placed in quarantine.

“Those who are in the second and third line of contacts are also being followed and if there is the necessity they will also be taken into quarantine if there is space if not they will be placed under strict home quarantine,” he added.