International

Mauritius records first cases for a month

Seafarers in a Norwegian Cruise Line

After 28 days without any new cases of coronavirus, Mauritius recorded two cases on Sunday.

The two patients are among 149 Mauritians, including three babies, who were repatriated from India on 9 May on a special Air Mauritius flight.

The development comes two weeks after Health Minister Kailesh Jagutpal said that the island nation had won the battle against Covid-19, although he add that the war against the virus was still on.

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth will this week address the nation on the ongoing “sanitary curfew” which has been extended to 1 June.

Only people with special permits have been allowed to move around freely but other activities have been banned unless deemed essential.

Meanwhile, more than 3,000 Mauritians stuck abroad have appealed to the government to bring them back home.

The authorities say they are preparing to repatriate its nationals from India, Madagascar and Australia.

However, those working on cruise ships feel they are being left out.

They are estimated to be more than 1,000 in locations such as Durban, Miami and Italy.

“Many people may think that we will be bringing the virus to Mauritius,” one seafarer told the BBC.

“This is not the case and there is no virus on board, and we are doing tests regularly.

“I appeal to the foreign minister to do the needful as we are very stressed”.

Nathalie Fine, a South African who was on the cruise ship Princess, urged the Mauritian government to show “a little pity for your own citizens”.

The government has not committed but said there “may be opportunities” for repatriation in the coming months.