The minister of overseas, Annick Girardin, arrived in Guyana on Tuesday, 23 June, carrying with it a field hospital of 20 beds in general medicine. The structure will provide space in the hospitals for the sick of the Covid. On this French territory is a little less than 300 000 inhabitants, located in South America, the number of patients suffering from Covid-19 has quadrupled in two weeks and doubled in size over the past seven days with 2 441 confirmed cases this weekend.
Massive arrival of patients
“The patients are more numerous and have forms to very severe, explains Loïc Epelboin, infectiologist at centre hospitalier de Cayenne. This massive influx of sick worries us a lot because our emergency service is not configured to accommodate as much of the world. “
On the whole territory, more than a hundred people are hospitalized, including 14 in intensive care. Four patients were transported by military aircraft from the hospital center of French Guiana to Martinique. And intensive care units in guyana are lacking today, desperately short of health care providers. The requests to find caregivers and nurses have multiplied in recent days on social networks.
According to the office of the prime minister, 17 caregivers of the reserve national health arrived on Monday, June 22. Other teams, including the AP-HP hospitals in Paris, will leave the metropolis this week. “I launched an appeal to the community infectious disease physicians in France and I received a lot of positive responses, confirms Loïc Epelboin. Ten brothers arrive in Seine-Saint-Denis, Tours, Poitiers or Paris and go to work in the hospital of Cayenne and Saint-Laurent for two months. “
The first cases arrived in Brazil
Guyana has been confined at the same time as the metropolis. At this time, the virus does not circulate on the territory. The first cases arrived in Brazil, in Saint-Georges de l’oyapock, today still confined. “Our border with Brazil, is a river. A lot of people live on the two territories at the same time. This is a sieve “, tells Margot Oberlis, midwife, and coordinator follow-up Covid on a mission for the Red Cross.
The Red Cross is involved in the most isolated villages to screen the population. For many, access to care is extremely difficult. It takes several hours to several days, often by way of rivers to join one of the 24 medical centers in guyana.
“I think that there is an urgent need to increase the number of healthcare mediators. It is not possible to meet messages to be broadcast, alert Margot Oberlis. It is necessary to assess the degree of information of the population. In Saint-Georges, a pregnant woman refused to do a test screening of the Covid, fear of being made to inoculate the virus. “
Doctors of the world in partnership with the Red Cross has spent three tours per month to three per week in the most disadvantaged areas of the Island of Cayenne. It installs a tent for a few hours and offers free consultations in the morning and testing Covid in the afternoon.
“Many of these residents live on small jobs. During the containment, they had nothing, tells Lisa Cann, project manager for Doctors of the world. Today, we arrive at pretty close to meeting food needs, but we don’t have enough baby milk, or layers. “
Measures barriers that are difficult to apply to the most precarious
In Guyana, one out of two benefits from the Complementary health solidarity or of the State medical aid. If the virus affects all social classes, the very precarious living conditions make it difficult to make the application of gestures barriers.
“How to pay for masks without money, to wash the hands without access to water ?asks Lisa Cann. It is also difficult to ask a family with children from 4 months to 14 years to stay confined in 15 square meters between four pieces of plank and a metal roof. “
In the municipalities most affected by the epidemic, such as those of the Island of Cayenne and Kourou, the prefect reinforced the curfew, from 19 hours to 5 hours on weekdays, and at weekends from Saturday 15 pm to Monday, 5 hours. The return to a total containment is not excluded and will depend on the government of the evolution of the health situation in the next few days. The minister of overseas estimated that the peak of the epidemic is planned for mid-July.
The department of Mayotte remained under surveillance
The state of public health emergency is extended until 30 October, in Guyana as in Mayotte, where the virus continues to circulate, but much more slowly. According to the latest epidemiological bulletin of public Health of France, dated 18 June, all the indicators are lower in Mayotte but “remain still at a high level “.
Since the beginning of march, to 2, 345 cases of Covid-19 have been registered in the territory, 375 people were hospitalized, 61 patients were admitted in the icu, and 31 have died. The number of new cases per week has decreased from 274 to 197 in three weeks. The second round of the municipal elections is held Sunday. In Guyana, it has been reported.