Joy on the streets: Opposition supporters celebrate
5th November 2020
By Lewis Betsy Well, no one could have imagined that a result such as this was on the cards. We had hoped and prayed that Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan would do enough to become President of... more...
Gerard Hoarau: Mass to honour his memory in Seychelles
26th October 2020
 By Lewis Betsy I have long felt that it was time that the life of Gerard Hoarau be officially honoured in his homeland.Now a small but significant step has been taken in that direction.His ... more...
Contender: Alain St Ange for One Seychelles
22nd September 2020
By Lewis Betsy Seychelles is now truly in election mode with politics the main talking point everywhere you go.As we have both the Presidential and National Assembly elections held simultaneously... more...
Mutual support: Left, Shanna Charlette, Lewis, Jude Monaie and Rena Baccarie at the Quarantine Centre in Berjaya
11th September 2020
By Lewis Betsy I returned to my beloved Seychelles last month, but my homecoming was not what I really wanted. I couldn’t visit anywhere, or meet my friends straight away. Instead, I had to... more...
Lewis Betsy: We must work together to rebuild Seychelles
14th August 2020
 By Lewis Betsy Seychelles needs a big change and this October is the time to make it happen.For the first time, we have the Presidential elections running alongside the National Assembly el... more...
Disaster on the horizon: The MV Wakashio aground on a coral reef
11th August 2020
Mauritius is preparing for a “worst-case scenario” after a cargo ship ran aground on a coral reef and 1,000 tonnes of oil poured into the sea.The Japanese bulk carrier MV Wakashio, which w... more...
Ecstatic: The Real Maldives squad celebrate their promotion
30th July 2020
Talk about leaving it late… Real Maldives won promotion in a hard-fought match with just one minute to spare at Stad Linite. The Anse-Etoile based club saw Josip Ravinia score their only goal t... more...
Patrick Pillay: “Corruption should be tackled”
9th July 2020
President Faure has spoken eloquently of the “fragility” of Seychelles and it being “one nation under God”. But he has sparked opposing reactions by saying that as the country ... more...

Plague fears in Seychelles after tragedy for sportsman in Madagascar

14th October 2017

Victim: Alix Allisop was taken ill while assisting at the Indian Ocean Club championship (Photo: Courtesy of SNA)
Victim: Alix Allisop was taken ill while assisting at the Indian Ocean Club championship (Photo: Courtesy of SNA)

Plague has spread to Seychelles after claiming the life of dozens in Madagascar including top Seychellois basketball coach Alix Allisop.

Authorities in Seychelles say a 34-year-old man was diagnosed with pneumonic plague after returning from Madagascar on an Air Seychelles flight on October 6. 

Health officials are said to be monitoring 258 people, including passengers and crew, as well as the man's family and patients at a health centre where he went for treatment.

The airline has since suspended its Madagascar flights.

The Minister of Health, Jean-Paul Adam, told the National Assembly: “The 258 includes 41 passengers and seven crew from the flight, 12 close family members, and 18 staff and patients from the Anse Boileau health centre. ”

The man taken ill had disobeyed instructions given upon his arrival to remain at home and instead went to a party that same evening. 

Mr Adam said that “all the 170 people who were at the party including the 13 staff working at the venue are also under passive surveillance”.

He added: “We were already putting Seychellois and tourists under active observation at their homes or at hotels. But as from today, all those arriving from Madagascar will be put in isolation for six days.”

Mr Allisop, 49, had been assisting the Seychelles' men’s reigning champion team Beau Vallon Heat in the Indian Ocean Club championship when he was taken ill.

Giovanna Rousseau, chief executive of the National Sports Council, said: “He was having breathing problems since he arrived in Madagascar. His condition got worse which is when he was taken to the hospital.”

Doctors were unable to save him.

Mr Allisop was an assistant sports coordinator with the National Sports Council. 

Mr Rousseau said his death was a blow both to the council and to the world of basketball in Seychelles. He went on: “Alix has worked with the sports council for a long time. He was always in basketball and helped a lot.”

Terence Barbe, director of sports development and management for the council, worked directly with Mr Allisop. He described him as someone who knew basketball “in its totality” and was well versed in the constitution of the local federation.

He said: “Alix has been playing basketball since Mont Fleuri secondary school. He also coached several teams including the national selection. He was an excellent technician and worked well with young players.”

Plague is endemic in Madagascar, and the country typically has about 400 cases a year. But the disease is normally confined to the rural central highlands. Most cases there are spread by fleas that bite rats, which increase in number after the rice harvest.

However, the country is struggling to contain the latest outbreak that began in August. It has killed at least 50 people so far, with 500 confirmed cases reported, according to the World Health Organization and Madagascar’s health ministry.

Schools have been closed, and large public gatherings such as sporting events and music festivals have been banned.

This outbreak has alarmed health officials because it has reached several Malagasy cities, including the capital, Antananarivo, and because most cases are of the pneumonic form, which is spread by coughing. The infection attacks the lungs and can kill within days.

The case in the Seychelles is the first instance of the current outbreak spreading to another country. Officials are worried it may gain momentum, like the 2014 Ebola outbreak, which killed more than 11,000 people.

Latest News

My great joy as Ramkalawan becomes President of the Republic of Seychelles
5th November 2020
Joy on the streets: Opposition supporters celebrate
By Lewis Betsy Well, no one could have imagined that a result such as this was on the cards. We… more...
Seychelles hero Gerard Hoarau to be remembered in homeland Mass
26th October 2020
Gerard Hoarau: Mass to honour his memory in Seychelles
 By Lewis Betsy I have long felt that it was time that the life of Gerard Hoarau be officially… more...
With the elections hotting up, I urge every Seychellois to vote… and honour those who have suffered for us
22nd September 2020
Contender: Alain St Ange for One Seychelles
By Lewis Betsy Seychelles is now truly in election mode with politics the main talking point… more...
What I learned during my 14 days of quarantine in Seychelles
11th September 2020
Mutual support: Left, Shanna Charlette, Lewis, Jude Monaie and Rena Baccarie at the Quarantine Centre in Berjaya
By Lewis Betsy I returned to my beloved Seychelles last month, but my homecoming was not what… more...
Our October elections will give us the chance to change history in Seychelles. We must seize that opportunity
14th August 2020
Lewis Betsy: We must work together to rebuild Seychelles
 By Lewis Betsy Seychelles needs a big change and this October is the time to make it… more...
Oil spill threatens major disaster for Mauritius
11th August 2020
Disaster on the horizon: The MV Wakashio aground on a coral reef
Mauritius is preparing for a “worst-case scenario” after a cargo ship ran aground on… more...
I had to keep my cool, says coach Don Anacoura after Real Maldive’s nail-biting promotion battle
30th July 2020
Ecstatic: The Real Maldives squad celebrate their promotion
Talk about leaving it late… Real Maldives won promotion in a hard-fought match with just… more...
Covid-19, cohabitation and corruption… opposition leaders outline how they will ‘save Seychelles’ if they win the Presidential election
9th July 2020
Patrick Pillay: “Corruption should be tackled”
President Faure has spoken eloquently of the “fragility” of Seychelles and it being… more...
November's News
News Archive