#MADAGASCAR FLIGHTS HALTED OVER HEALTH CONCERNS
(Posted 07th October 2017)
Air Seychelles is suspending flights between Mahe and Antananarivo following advice from the archipelago’s health authorities after a Seychellois citizen succumbed to the ongoing plague outbreak in Madagascar while there on an assignment as coach of a Seychellois basketball team.
A health authority official quoted to this correspondent by a regular source on the main island of Mahe reportedly said that their advice was in line with international and WHO recommendations and is in line with what airlines were required to do during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa two years ago.
As a result of the flight suspension which is effective immediately are the Seychelles islands considered absolutely safe as are visitors to the archipelago, important as the Indian Ocean island state is heading towards another record year in tourism arrivals.
Said the source: ‘During the Ebola epidemic in West Africa two years ago the Seychelles government barred citizens from traveling to the affected countries. The ban was only lifted when all affected countries were certified by WHO as free of the disease. The plague outbreak on Madagascar falls under the same circumstances and therefore did Air Seychelles have to stop flights‘. Air Seychelles has until the suspension operated four weekly flights between Mahe and Antananarivo.
It was reported here on the 16th of September that Madagascar had suffered a renewed pneumatic plague outbreak and while tourism sources on the largest Indian Ocean island downplayed the impact of the disease at the time does that statement now clearly need proactive review given the developments of recent days.