Currently submitted to: JMIR Public Health and Surveillance
Date Submitted: Nov 12, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 12, 2020 - Nov 26, 2020
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A tale of two island nations: SARS-COV-2 management in Mauritius and New Zealand
Mauritius has not had any community acquired SARS-COV-2 case for 6 months and is continuing to maintain control over the disease so far. In this study we discuss how the disease initially spread and use New Zealand, another SARS-COV-2 success story, as the comparator.
This study aims to explore how the initial wave progressed in Mauritius, by looking at who was most affected, who were most likely to transmit the disease, what were the most effective measures and how the authorities can be best prepared going forward.
Exploratory retrospective analysis of all confirmed cases in Mauritius between 18th March and 30th August 2020. Additionally, a comparative cross-sectional study for confirmed cases between New Zealand and Mauritius.
There were 355 confirmed cases, 62.0% males, median age = 38 years. The majority (64.8%) were asymptomatic during their infection. New Zealanders in the age-group 10-19 years of age were more prone to infections in contrast to the same age category in Mauritius (P=.006). Contact-tracing was effective in both countries, with 65.3% and 66.3% case detection rates in Mauritius and New Zealand respectively. There were 5 major case clusters in Mauritius and there was an association between delay in notification to authorities and spread from each index case. Health sector workers who were infected, made up of 10.4% of Mauritian cases and 14.3% in New Zealand. The geographical coverage of SARS-COV-2 transmission was 67 percent in Mauritius compared to 45 percent in New Zealand. The test positivity rate was above five percent for only the first three weeks of the outbreak in Mauritius whilst it remained below five percent throughout the outbreak in New Zealand.
Mauritius over-achieved in its fight against SARS-COV-2. Application of the lessons learnt will help better face further waves of the pandemic. We outline five recommendations to attain this objective.
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