World’s most vaccinated country reports highest global COVID-19 case count, re-imposes lockdown measures
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VICTORIA, Seychelles, May 12, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The government of Seychelles has re-imposed lockdown measures following the largest per capita surge in detection of infection with COVID-19 in the world, despite ranking as the top country for coverage with a COVID vaccine.
Though previously boasting that some 60 percent of its population had been “fully vaccinated” against the coronavirus, the country recorded 336 positive tests per 100,000 population in the first week of May, more than double the amount of second place Maldives at 153 per 100,000, according to the New York Times’ global coronavirus tracker.
Maldives, a neighbouring island nation in the Indian Ocean, holds the position of fourth-most vaccinated country after Seychelles, as well as recording the second highest weekly increase in positive tests for COVID-19, by the Times’ data.
Seychelles’ supposed outbreak vastly outstrips that of India, which has seen around 28 positive tests of the virus in the per 100,000 population in the same time period. Even total deaths per 100,000 show Seychelles to have almost double the rate of India’s overall COVID-related death toll.
The archipelago nation, comprising 115 islands off the east coast of Africa, had supplied the majority of its vaccinated inhabitants (about 57%) with the Sinopharm-produced inoculation from China, the Wall Street Journal reported. Those who did not receive the Chinese variant were given two doses of the experimental AstraZeneca shot (around 43%). Neither vaccine makes use of innovative mRNA technology and both have been determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be less effective against the virus than those jabs that do use the new technology, such as Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine.
The country’s health ministry announced that more than a third of those who tested positive for the virus, around 37%, had already been “fully vaccinated,” prompting the WHO to launch a review into the data and, indeed, the Chinese government-made Sinopharm vaccine to which it had given its full backing just a few days prior.
Reacting to the perceived increase in COVID-positive citizens, Seychelles’ government immediately locked down schools and participation in sports for a fortnight, as well as introducing an 11pm curfew, with shops and amenities to close earlier. The country, whilst remaining open to most tourists, will not grant entry to unvaccinated individuals travelling from India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, as well as barring all people travelling from Brazil.
READ: Will COVID vaccines really bring us back to normal?
Seychelles’ Minister of Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, played down worries regarding the Sinopharm vaccine and its effects in an attempt to give tourists the confidence to continue visiting and boosting the country’s beleaguered holiday industry. “I don’t think people should start questioning the effectiveness of the Chinese vaccine,” he said. “The patients admitted in hospitals have mild symptoms.”
Radegonde was countered by the leader of the chief opposition party, Patrick Herminie, who explained that Seychelles’ “president did not consult health experts, yet this vaccine had not been approved by any reputable international agency” but still they gave the majority of vaccinated individuals the Chinese-developed jab. “The level of political interference in the public-health sector is alarming,” contended Herminie. The country’s foreign ministry, on the other hand, flatly denied the accusation of neglecting expert consultation.
Seychelles’ president, Wavel Ramkalawan, weighed in on the subject in a statement to the Global Times. “People may be infected but they are not sick. Only a small number are. Isn’t this how the vaccine is supposed to help us? So, what is happening is normal,” he said, also playing down fears of a failure in the vaccine program.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the emergence of so-called breakthrough cases of the virus from vaccinated individuals both inside and outside the U.S., at least two weeks after becoming “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19.
The U.S. saw at least 5,800 COVID-positive tests in “fully vaccinated” citizens before April 13, resulting in 400 hospitalizations and 74 deaths. Approximately 40 percent of those infected following vaccination were over 60 years of age, and the overall majority, around 65 percent, were women.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the President, suggested that the high number of individuals contracting COVID is a result of mostly elderly people, “particularly if they are frail and have underlying conditions,” who “might not have responded as well to the vaccine.” However, over 60s accounted for less than half of the breakthrough cases, around 40 percent.
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Fauci went on to say that “when someone is already elderly and may or may not have an underlying condition, that it is unfortunate but not surprising that you might have a couple of deaths” following vaccination.
Besides breakthrough infection reports, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), the CDC and FDA-run program for recording vaccine-related injuries, has been inundated with a total of 157,277 adverse events reported between December 14, 2020 and April 30, 2021 for the experimental COVID vaccines. Of the numerous adverse events, including blindness, infertility, and blood clots, a total of 3,837 deaths have been recorded in that time.