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Dimanche, des avions militaires ont commencé à évacuer les patients de Covid-19 de la Guyane française au dernier signe que les services de santé du département français d'outre-mer ont du mal à faire face à un nombre croissant de cas de coronavirus.Les patients ont été transportés dans un avion spécialement équipé vers d’autres territoires français des Caraïbes afin d’alléger le fardeau des hôpitaux de Guyane.
“We absolutely must both strengthen the local health system, which we have done, but also very regularly allow the evacuation of patients outside Guyana,” said Clara De Bort, director general of health services at territory.
“This of course allows these patients to be well taken care of, but it also allows the health care system to survive,” she said.
With around 290,000 inhabitants, Guyana is located on the northeast coast of South America and, like the other French overseas territories, it is an integral part of France.
But while most of France now enjoys the freedoms that came with the end of the foreclosure measures in the midst of a decrease in Covid-19 cases in Guyana, the number of patients infected with the virus is skyrocketing .
As of Friday, there were 3,270 confirmed cases in the territory, an increase of 237 in 24 hours.
The situation prompted the regional authorities to take drastic measures.
In addition to medical evacuation flights, a field hospital has been set up in the capital Cayenne to treat non-Covid patients in order to free up more space in permanent hospitals to treat those with the virus, while staff voluntary medical supplies were sent from mainland France.
Meanwhile, the people of French Guiana have been returned to detention. Bars and restaurants have been closed while a strict curfew is applied in the hardest hit regions and local elections, held across France on Sunday, have been postponed.
The spread of the virus has been partly transmitted to Guyana’s border with Brazil, which has the second highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world with more than 1.3 million.
The main bridge between Guyana and Brazil, the Saint-Georges-de-l’Oyapock bridge, is now closed. But authorities say controlling movement across the border is a big challenge.
French Guiana is in a geographic area very affected by the Covid-19 virus. We have… borders that are not easy to maintain, “said French Minister for the French overseas departments, Annick Girardin, on Tuesday.
“It is easy to close a bridge, but we cannot do much more when we know the length of our borders with our neighbors. This health situation in Brazil, which has been very difficult and remains very difficult for Brazil, has also affected us. ”
The situation in French Guiana could worsen before improving, with the Covid-19 cases not expected to peak in mid-July.