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CABINET MEETING HELD ON FRIDAY 30 APRIL 2021

The Cabinet met today under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister,  the Hon. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.  The highlights of the deliberations are as follows:

  1. Cabinet has taken note of the second phase of resumption of economic, commercial and other activities as from Saturday 01 May 2021, while maintaining certain restrictions in order to ensure that there is no resurgence of COVID-19 in the local community.   As a general rule, the following should be adhered to:
  • social distancing;
  • wearing of masks;
  • regular washing of hands / use of sanitisers; and
  • proper ventilation as far as possible.

Appropriate Regulations would be made by the Minister of Health and Wellness to designate places/premises that would, inter alia, remain closed.

  • Cabinet has taken note that the Prime Minister chaired four meetings of the Steering Committee on Torrential Rain from 25 to 29 April 2021 during which the Committee was apprised of the prevailing situation following heavy/torrential rainfalls, especially in the Southern region of Mauritius and also reviewed the preparedness plan to mitigate the impact of torrential rain thereat.
  • Cabinet has taken note of the status of the project of acquisition of trailer mounted flood pumps and firefighting vehicles for the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service, financed under the Indian Line of Credit.  These high-volume flood pumps would enable the removal of large amounts of water from flooded areas, including inundated houses, buildings and courtyards, thus assisting in saving life and property.  The pumps are expected to be received in early June 2021.  The supplier would thereafter send a team of technicians to train the firefighters to operate the equipment.
  • Cabinet has taken note of the actions taken by the Ministry of Local Government and Disaster Risk Management in view of the heavy rains forecasted by the Mauritius Meteorological Services as from 27 April 2021.  The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre upgraded the National Emergency Operations Command to Level III on Tuesday 27 April 2021 at 09 30 hours due to the worsening of the weather.  The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Disaster Risk Management chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Committee on 26 April 2021 with all stakeholders to review the situation and discuss on the preparedness measures to be taken.  Various measures were urgently activated on ground by the Land Drainage Authority, the Road Development Authority, the National Development Unit and the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service.
  • Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate has revised the estimated  ex-Syndicate (ex-MSS) price payable for sugar for Crop 2020 from Rs12,000/T to Rs13,000/T of sugar, which has become effective as from 01 April 2021.

 Small cane planters producing up to 60T of sugar would continue to benefit from the enhanced guaranteed price of Rs25,000/T of sugar produced.

  • Cabinet has agreed to the implementation of a project for the construction of a modern warehouse for pharmaceutical products and other medical consumables for storage of medical and non-medical items on a “Design, Finance, Build, Operate and Maintain” model at Cote d’Or.
  • Cabinet has taken note that in view of the critical COVID-19 situation and the acute shortage of Oxygen in India, the Government of Mauritius has donated 200 Oxygen Concentrators to that country.

Cabinet has also taken note that the Government of Mauritius would donate 100 cylinders of Oxygen, five million single-use hand gloves, 250,000 goggles and 10,000 swabs to Madagascar.

  • Cabinet has taken note of the implementation of a Road Assets Management System by the Road Development Authority (RDA) to ensure an effective maintenance of the road network falling under its purview.  The RDA is statutorily the Highway Authority responsible, amongst others, for the maintenance of motorways and main roads. The maintenance responsibility includes the preservation of the assets of the road network with a view to ensuring an acceptable level of service in terms of riding quality, comfort, safety and environment considerations.  The RDA would revamp its present Maintenance Division into a Road Assets Management Division and its activities would include:
  • managing and maintaining the entire road network under the responsibility of the RDA;
  • undertaking rehabilitation works to bring the roads up to pre-defined standards within specific deadlines;
  • carrying out improvement works aiming at adding new characteristics to the roads in response to new traffic, safety and other conditions; 
  • undertaking emergency works required to reinstate the roads immediately after any damage has occurred; and 
  • constantly revising service delivery based on durability.
  • Cabinet has taken note of the findings of the third Report of the National Wage Consultative Council on the impact of the introduction of the national minimum wage in January 2018 and its review in January 2020. The Report covers the period June 2019 to June 2020 and additional timeframes.

The Report emphasises that comparison of indicators for Quarter 2 of 2020 should be considered with necessary caution due to the significant impact of COVID-19.  The salient features highlighted in the Report include, among others:

  • Impact on the Economy, the Wage Rate Index, Employment and Unemployment;
  • Employment in Export Oriented Enterprises;
  • the Wage Distribution as measured by the Gini coefficient and by the Inter-Decile Ratios;
  • the National Minimum Wage and Relative Poverty Line;
  • the evolution of Wage Distribution; and
  • Compliance with the National Minimum Wage Regulations.

The National Wage Consultative Council would seek the assistance of the International Labour Organisation for the formulation of the fourth report on the impact of the introduction of the national minimum wage with a view to aligning the exercise on international best standards.

  1. Cabinet has agreed to the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change signing an Agreement with:
  • the Central Electricity Board; and
  • the Utility Regulatory Authority.

on the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) for Low Carbon Island Development Strategy for Mauritius project, funded by the Global Environment Facility.  

The aim of the project is to ensure a low carbon path for Mauritius and would culminate into the formulation of a first National Climate Change Mitigation Strategy and Action Plan in line with the Climate Change Act 2020. The NAMA project would play a pivotal role in the conduct of detailed assessments and setting up of mitigation targets for sectors such as Energy, Transport, Industrial Processes and Product Use, Agriculture, Waste Management (solid and liquid) and Forestry. These would form the basis for the formulation of the revised Nationally Determined Contributions to be submitted prior to COP 26 in  November 2021.

  1. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Health and Wellness would promulgate the Clinical Trials (Medical Devices Trials) Regulations 2021 under the Clinical Trials Act.  The Regulations set out, inter alia, the following:
  • the registration process of any person wishing to conduct clinical trials in respect of a medical device in Mauritius;
  • the relevant fees to be paid;
  • the validity of the trial licence;
  • the conditions for the granting or refusal of an application; 
  • the renewal of a licence; and
  • the compliance with prevailing rules.

The fees for the various categories of devices have been recommended by the Clinical Research Regulatory Council.

  1. Cabinet has taken note that the Fact Finding Committee to inquire into the recent death of renal dialysis patients at the New Souillac Hospital to be chaired by  Mrs Deviyanee Beesoondoyal, GCSK, former Judge, would have as Assessors,  Dr P. Chitson and Dr S. Mareeachalee.

              The Terms of Reference of the Committee would be to inquire into and report on:

  • the circumstances leading to the renal dialysis patients at the New Souillac Hospital getting infected by COVID-19 and whether they had received the appropriate treatment thereafter;
  • the circumstances leading to the death of the 11 patients;
  • the conditions in which the dialysis patients were quarantined at Tamassa Hotel, including medical arrangement made for their dialysis sessions;
  • whether all existing sanitary protocols had been followed at the New Souillac Hospital and at the quarantine facility at Tamassa Hotel;
  • whether the Dialysis Unit of the New Souillac Hospital is adequately staffed and equipped to provide treatment to patients;
  • whether measures were taken to provide for the vaccination of staff against  COVID-19;
  • whether there has been any act of negligence which led to the death of any dialysis patient; and

any matter ancillary to (a) to (g) above and to make appropriate recommendations.

  1. Cabinet has taken note that the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has selected ‘Lespwar’ the mobile app for the Elimination of Gender Based Violence as WSIS Prizes 2021 Champion which is among the top five in its category AL C10, Ethical dimensions of the Information Society.

Government launched, on 25 November 2020, a mobile app for the elimination of Gender Based Violence.  The mobile app named ‘Lespwar’ is in line with the values of respect and peace and the mobile app upholds the fundamental values of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, shared responsibility and respect for others.   Victims of Gender Based Violence in need of help can secure the assistance they require at all times.  A panic button on the mobile app triggers the immediate response of relevant authorities.

  1. Cabinet has taken note of the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic prevailing across the world.  With regard to Mauritius, as at 30 April 2021, 1,238 cases (including imported cases) of COVID-19 had been registered.  There were currently 81 active cases of  COVID-19 in Mauritius, out of which 64 were local cases and 17 imported cases.  Contact tracing exercises and random testing are being carried out in accordance with the established protocol.  The public should observe strict sanitary precautions.

Cabinet has also taken note of progress in the implementation of the national  COVID-19 vaccination programme and arrangements being made to administer the second dose of vaccine.

Cabinet has further noted that the Anti-Influenza Vaccination Campaign 2021 would resume on Monday 03 May 2021.  As the confinement period would end on 30 April 2021, the campaign would be open to all eligible beneficiaries across the island.

  1. Cabinet has taken note of the publication of a Compendium of Judgments delivered by the Public Bodies Appeal Tribunal (PBAT) for period 2012 to 2018 by the Ministry of Public Service, Administrative and Institutional Reforms.  The need for the Compendium of the Judgments of the PBAT was deemed important to guide public institutions to improve on procedures and processes with a view to ensuring justice and fairness in appointment and promotion exercises. The Compendium would also provide Public Officers with several references on the issues raised in different past appeals and their outcomes.

Note: Cabinet decisions are available on the internet. The address is http://pmo.govmu.org

                                        Government Information Service

                                                   Prime Minister’s Office

30 April 2021                                                                                             Port Louis

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