Coronavirus – Mauritius: Omicron Variant not Detected in Mauritius, states Minister Jagutpal
“As of now, the Omicron variant has not been detected in Mauritius based on S-gene target failure and sequencing. However, a preparedness plan has been finalised at the level of the Ministry of Health and Wellness so as to detect the Omicron variant.”
The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal, made this statement, today, at the National Assembly, in reply to a Private Notice Question pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Omicron variant.
Minister Jagutpal provided the following details, as far as the preparedness plan is concerned:
- the current average COVID-19 test capacity of the Central Health Laboratory (CHL) is more than 2,000 tests per day;
- the sequencing capacity in place enables 200 samples to be sequenced per month locally and two platforms are available for sequencing, namely Ion Torrent and Nanopore Technologies; and
- PCR is regularly carried out for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 and Omicron, like other variant of concern, can be picked up by the current PCR assay being used at the CHL which is using E and N gene for diagnosis.
Furthermore, the Minister underscored that, as from 29 November 2021, his Ministry also included S-gene in its PCR assay panel to monitor S-gene target failure (SGTF). ‘The S-gene target failure’, he stated, ‘gives an indication of a variant and all samples showing S-gene target failure will then be further sequenced to know the type of variant.’
Concerning the number of persons aged 60 years and above who received a booster dose as at date, the Health and Wellness Minister affirmed that this figure stood at 33,713. He apprised that a total of 94,846 persons received a booster shot since 2021 to date. “I wish also to inform the House that out of 230,000 persons aged 60 and above, 206,487 have already been fully vaccinated and the vaccine efficiency is valid for at least 6 months,” he added.
Speaking about doses of Sinopharm vaccines to be gifted to Africa, Dr Jagutpal emphasised that Rwanda expressed its interest to receive both Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines. He indicated that 60,000 doses of Sputnik V had already been sent to Kigali and 50,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines were being airlifted today. Moreover, he emphasised, Zimbabwe expressed its interest to receive Sinopharm vaccines, and as such, 60,000 doses of the vaccines were sent to Harare on 22 November 2021.
Minister Jagutpal also dwelt on the number of registered deaths for the period 01 November to 29 November 2021. He underlined that, according to information obtained from the Civil Status Office for this period, the total number of registered deaths was 1,686. He stated that the total number of deaths for the 29 days for the corresponding period last year was 855.
In addition, Dr Jagutpal pointed out that, according to the statistics at the level of his Ministry, the number of persons who passed away due to COVID-19 from 01 November 2021 to midnight of 29 November 2021 stood at 348. He outlined that out of this number, 156 were fully vaccinated, as follows: AstraZeneca – 16; Covaxin – 44; Johnson & Johnson – 8; and Sinopharm – 88.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.