The Mauritius Police Force has, as at date, delivered some 200 000 digital Work Access Permits (WAP) through the online application system put in place on the besafemoris.mu website. Despite the confinement period, self-employed persons, authorised to operate as from 15th May 2020, as well as public and private sector employees will gradually resume their work until the resumption of economic activities once the lockdown ends on 1st June 2020.
The spokesperson of the National Communication Committee on Covid-19, Dr Zouberr Joomaye, shared those information, this evening, during a press briefing at the Treasury Building in Port Louis, in presence of the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr. Renganaden Padayachy, and the Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development and Training, Mr Soodesh Callichurn.
Dr Joomaye provided an overview of the Covid-19 situation in Mauritius and stressed that for the 18 straight days, no new Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the country. The number of Covid-19 tests carried out so far has reached 82 994, comprising 24 080 PCR tests and 58 706 Rapid Antigen Tests. He further stated that the screening of frontliners is almost complete and that the next step will involve the screening of people working in supermarkets, petrol stations as well as public officers who worked during the confinement period. He also reiterated Government's full support to all frontliners, particularly healthcare personnel, in performing their duties to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
As at date, the number of positive cases stand at 332 with 322 successfully treated patients and ten Covid-19 related deaths. Moreover, he pointed out that 262 persons comprising of 42 healthcare personnel are currently in the five quarantine centres across the island.
Minister Padayachy, for his part, shed light on the two schemes, namely the Wage Assistance Scheme and the Self-Employed Assistance Scheme, set up by Government to help employees of the private sector and those self-employed in the informal sector with a financial support during the confinement period.
He stressed that only large profitable enterprises will be called upon to refund the sum disbursed by Government during the lockdown period. He reassured that for the month of May provisions have already been made for the allocation of a partial or full payment of the financial aid to the beneficiaries. Dr Padayachy also stated that Government is working on the economic strategy which will be incorporated in Budget 2020-2021 to alleviate the population from the negative impact of Covid-19 and prepare for the economic recovery in line with Government's vision of to sustain investment and the economy as a whole.
On the other hand, Minister Callichurn reassured the population that the amendments proposed to the two labour laws under the COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill will help in responding to this unprecedented situation resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. He explained that the amendments will in no situation infringe the rights of workers and that same have been taken to preserve jobs and enable enterprises to sustain during this covid-19 crisis.