The French government declared a state of health emergency in French Guiana on the border with Brazil. unmatched

The French government declared a state of health emergency in French Guiana on the border with Brazil.  unmatched

French government declared a state of health emergency Due to the acceleration of the COVID-19 pandemic leveraged by Omicron variants in many of its overseas territories. French Guiana, on the border with Brazil, is part of the affected areas, as well as Saint Barthélemy, Guadeloupe and Saint-Martin in the Caribbean Sea, and Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. The verdict is on Wednesday (5).

“Given the hospital capacity of these regions and the low vaccination rates of the population, the current pandemic wave of COVID-19 represents a sanitary catastrophe that threatens the health of the population”, summarizes the decree presented to the Council of Ministers in Paris. Along with the measure, local authorities can impose lockdown arrangements or other devices, such as curfews, to keep the population in their homes and avoid overcrowding.

The government has seen a “considerable increase” in outside cases France metropolitan area. In addition to the areas declared on Wednesday, a state of health emergency had already been declared in the Caribbean on December 27 on Reunion Island, in the Indian Ocean and in Martinique.

Officials especially warn of the low levels of vaccination recorded in these areas, where there is still a lot of resistance to vaccination. About 40% of the population in the French overseas territories received, on average, the first dose of an anti-Covid vaccine.

Boats on the shore of Oiapoque and the binational bridge connecting Brazil and French Guiana in the background — Photo: Maxuel Martins/GEA

hospital saturation

In the case of French Guiana, separated from Brazil by Rio oyapok, in northern Amapá, an example often cited by authorities. About a third of its population in the region has been vaccinated.

“With this level of vaccination, the risks of developing severe forms of the disease increase and can quickly lead to saturation of hospital structures”, warned the decree.

And the government remembers the situation is already worrying French Guiana, where “the occupancy rate of beds in rehabilitation services already exceeds 190% of the initial capacity”.

and in France Vaccination is not mandatory in the metropolitan area, Guyana. But a health passport, a document proving that its holder has been vaccinated or recently tested negative, requires access to bars, restaurants and sporting and cultural activities.

However, the rule is not always enforced and the use of protective masks is not always respected, which increases the circulation of the virus, especially given the infectious potential of the Omicron variant, which is already present in the region. .

The ease of entry and exit from the region further complicates the prevention of cases, due to difficult-to-control borders on both the Suriname side, to the west, and the Brazilian side to the south.

In the Guyana city of St. George, just minutes by boat from Vila Vittoria oyapokOn the Brazilian side, the crossing is rapid and practically no controls are exercised.

The bridge connecting the two banks was closed for months, but continued to bear temporary boat traffic as many people work or study on both sides of the border. Amapá has neither confirmed cases nor suspected Omicron.

Check out what was shown on the AP below:

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About the author: Muhammad Wayne

Wayne is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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