Weekly Island Round-Up - 10 May 2021
Here are 3 things happening in Mauritius this week!
1) Foreign Minister claims 500,000 of the Sinopharm vaccine will be arriving in Mauritius in the coming weeks.
A statement by Foreign Minister Alan Ganoo states that 500,000 more does of the Sinopharm vaccine will be arriving from China in the coming weeks.
The government's objective is to vaccinate 750,000 Mauritians within a few months in order to move on to another stage of easing lockdown.
2) The Mauritian economy is forecast to expand at a slower-than-expected pace of 5% this year with the recovery hinging on a revival in the tourism industry, according to the International Monetary Fund.
The tourism sector accounted for 63.1 billion rupees of foreign currency revenue in 2019, is yet to revive until international vaccination efforts spur herd immunity.
“As the country emerges from the pandemic, however, there is uncertainty about tourism flows, which depend on the propensity to travel as the pandemic recedes as well as conditions in other countries,” said head of mission Cemile Sancak in a statement after concluding the Article IV consultations with Mauritian stakeholders on May 7.
An Indian Ocean island nation of about 1.3 million people, Mauritius registered a contraction of about 15% in 2020, its worst performance in four decades. As of now, borders remain closed due to a second wave of the Covid-19 cases.
3) Shakeel Mohammed claims opposition MPs are being denied access to Agaléga to “hide the truth of what is happening on the island”.
Opposition MP Shakeel Mohamed believes that the PM wants to prevent deputies from going to Agaléga.
During a statement to Parliament on Tuesday, the Prime Minister, who responded to questioning by Shakeel Mohamed, pointed out that nothing prevents a deputy goes to his constituency. However, the Prime Minister added that in order to get to Agaléga, an MP must notify the Outer Islands Developement Corporation (OIDC). He is expected to travel by boat and the next trip is scheduled for May 28.
However, according to the current health protocol, he will have to undergo three PCR tests beforehand and undergo a 14-day quarantine. The boat takes five to six days to return to Mauritius.
Shakeel Mohamed affirms that the Prime Minister wants quite “simply to prevent us from going to Agaléga. No doubt he wants to hide the whole truth about what is happening on the island”. He deputy maintains that he made a request to to travel to Agaléga long before the local cases of Covid-19 surfaced in March and that the OIDC has always turned a deaf ear to his request.
The last time an opposition MP visited Agaléga was in 2013.