PORT LOUIS, Mauritius -- In late January 2020 the isolation ward at Souillac Hospital in the south of Port Louis had six people in quarantine. They had flown to the Mauritian capital from Wuhan city. This was long before the Indian Ocean island confirmed its first COVID-19 cases, but strict measures were already in effect to detect and prevent the virus from spreading.
When the country reported the initial cases on 18 March, it took just five weeks to bring down the infections from a cluster of local cases to zero cases, becoming the first in Africa to contain the spread of COVID-19. The achievement is largely credited to quick action in enforcing a raft of stringent preventive and control measures.
“Our national response was timely and decisive,” Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnau...