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For the first time since spring 2020, Reunion Island entered a new two-week confinement period on Saturday to cope with an upsurge in Covid-19 cases. A similar measure was taken in Martinique where hospital services are saturated.
Reunion and Martinique enter a new period of confinement on Saturday July 31, when the situation related to Covid-19 is deemed “dramatic” by the government and that a first transfer of patients to Paris has been scheduled.
Little vaccinated and showing an incidence of 350 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants, Reunion Island returns to partial confinement during the day “from this weekend”, for two weeks, “reinforced by a strict curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m. h “, a first since the confinement of spring 2020, announced Thursday July 29 the prefect of Reunion Jacques Billant.
In Martinique, confinement has also been in place since Friday 7 p.m. for a period of at least three weeks.
Only 15% of people vaccinated in Martinique
“I think the authorities are forced to take drastic measures … It’s a shame to come to this, but … It’s our fault,” said a passerby questioned by AFP in the streets from Fort-de-France, Roger, while only 15% of the population of the West Indian island is vaccinated.
The announcement of the new restrictions disappointed many tourists: “We were asked to be vaccinated to come to the island already. And there, again, we are confined to a radius of 10 km”, regretted Christelle, a metropolitan on vacation and who fears “much less profit”.
The situation has deteriorated in recent days in a number of French overseas territories, described Thursday as “dramatic” by the Prime Minister, Jean Castex. Since Wednesday, Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélémy have come to Reunion and Martinique, already in a state of health emergency since July 13.
The number of positive cases rose from 2,241 last week to 3,537, according to the prefecture, and the incidence rate from 280 cases to 995 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Three patients transferred to Paris
The first three patients hospitalized due to Covid-19 in Martinique, where hospital services are saturated, must be transferred to Paris on Saturday by a medical flight.
The Ministry of the Armed Forces also announced on Friday that it was going to deploy a team of around fifty soldiers from the Army Health Service and the Army Medical Regiment to the CHU of Fort-de-France.
To support caregivers facing the resumption of the epidemic # Covid19 in the West Indies, 50 soldiers will be deployed in Martinique: they will make it possible to operate 10 additional intensive care beds by the end of next week. @florence_parly @olivierveran
– Sébastien Lecornu (@SebLecornu) July 30, 2021
“Equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment, they will make it possible to operate 5 resuscitation beds from August 3, supplemented by 5 additional beds before the end of next week”, indicate the military authorities.