As the country reopens to the world on Thursday, the president of Seychelles expressed his trust in the national health initiatives in place to protect the island nation.
The number of flights scheduled to arrive in Seychelles, as well as their provisional bookings, is very promising, added President Wavel Ramkalawan.
The head of state spoke after returning to the islands on Tuesday from a three-day official visit to Qatar, where he saw new security measures in place at Hamad International Airport. The presidential delegation went to the airport to inspect the security measures in place to protect airport employees, passengers, and the community.
On the eve of the island nation’s re-opening, Ramkalawan believes that such awareness of new safety measures and procedures is critical.
“Seychelles is first in the world in terms of vaccinations. This week people have started to take their second dose of COVISHIELD. We have more than 63,000 who have already taken their first dose. With only Sinopharm we were 40 percent and when this weekends, we would have 50 percent of people who would have taken their second dose,” said Ramkalawan.
Even if there is a cluster of infection, the head of state confirmed that those infected have already received their first doses and that the situation can be managed, adding that these are all encouraging signs that the decisions taken are sound and that the country is on the right track in terms of pandemic management.
The president said that the COVID-19 infection numbers for the previous two days are very promising, adding that schools have reopened and Seychelles is learning to live with the pandemic. The reopening of the island nation’s international airport, as per the head of state, is a source of great excitement.
“As of next week, there will be more than 28 flights set to fly to the country. We have the Israel market which has given Seychelles the green light. So, the Israelis can now come to Seychelles. There is El Al, Air Seychelles and ARKIA, three airlines that will operate on this route. Emirates will soon start operating one fight per day, to start, and there is the possibility to increase, and looking at their reservation for this week, this week they will bring more than a thousand visitors,” explained Ramkalawan.
Other promising signals, as per the president, include the return of Aeroflot, which will begin flying twice weekly to the islands on April 2.
Edelweiss, Air Mauritius, and Condor, among others, have flights scheduled to return to Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.