The number of cases of Covid-19 continues to rise in Mauritius, with a total of 28 cases registered as at now, announced the spokesperson of the National Communication Committee on Covid-19, Dr Zouberr Joomaye, at a press conference, this morning, at the Treasury Building, in Port Louis.
He recalled that the country will be under a Curfew Order, under regulation 14(1) of the Prevention and Mitigation of Infectious Disease (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 of the Public Health Act, as from today at 20 00 hours local time until Thursday 2 April 2020 at 20 00 hours local time, to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 across Mauritius.
Dr Joomaye indicated that supermarkets will be opened from Monday to Friday as from 09 00 hrs to 15 00 hrs during the Curfew Order and that Petroleum stations, bakeries and pharmacies will remain open during their normal working hours.
He cautioned that the elderly are more prone and vulnerable to Covid-19 and appealed to them to stay indoors. He also encouraged the youth to inform the elderly and sensitise them of the danger they will be exposed to if they do not remain confined. He appealed to the public to comply with the confinement order to stop the propagation of the Covid-19 as is the case in Italy where the registered number of death related to Covid-19 has reached some 5 500.
For his part, the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, stated that the country has been inactive economically for almost 15 days now and this situation is considerably impacting the country's economy. In view to limit the socio-economic impacts, he stated, Government is putting in place several measures. They are, namely:
Wage Support Scheme - Government will contribute 50% of the first basic salary for those earning Rs 25 000 up to Rs 50 000. This represent an amount of Rs 5 000 to Rs 12 500, that is, persons earning Rs 10 200 will receive Rs 5 100, and those earning between Rs 25 000 to Rs 50 000 will receive Rs 12 500, thus representing a cost of Rs 2.6 billion to the Government. Employers who wish to benefit from the Scheme are requested to submit an online application to the Mauritius Revenue Authority.
Special Assistance Plan by the Bank of Mauritius- Families having contracted a housing loan at any Commercial Bank will be entitled to a moratorium of six months to pay the capital of their loans.
Write-off of interest for housing loans for persons earning up to Rs 50 000 as from 1st April to 30 June 2020.
As for the Director of Health Services, Dr V. Gujadhur pointed out that the number of infections can increase alarmingly if citizens do not abide to the national confinement put in place by Government. He stressed that the population need to understand the severity of the situation and to act in the most responsible manner. He, thus, exhorted the population to abide at all times to the Curfew Order and to go out only in case of emergencies.
As regard the newly registered cases, he indicated that there are currently teams working on contact tracing which will unremittingly be carried out to detect any infected cases.
DCP K. Jughroo pointed out that many individuals are not respecting the laws as regard the National Confinement. He also announced that severe legal measures will be implemented as from today as soon as the Curfew Order kicks off. Every person not possessing the required work permit access can be subject to arrest without warrant as the Police Force has the powers of arrest without warrant now. He made a strong plea to the population to abide at all times by the Curfew Order so as not to compromise their lives as well as that of their families.