Saturday , February 4 2023

French side COVID-19 active cases rise to 19 as Gendarme reinforcements arrive

Two more coronavirus COVID-19 cases were reported Sunday by the Préfecture and regional health agency ARS bringing total active cases on the French side to 19.

The two new cases are confined to their homes bringing the total cases isolated at home to 13 while six other patients are in the Louis-Constant Fleming Hospital. One of the new cases is a resident of Sandy Ground who was evacuated to Guadeloupe.  St. Barths has two cases confined to home and four persons have recovered.

Together with the decision to close the border at Cupecoy/Lowlands and Oyster Pond for 15 days, Commandant Stéphan Basso disclosed 16 more Gendarmes arrived from Guadeloupe on Saturday, indicating that controls in conjunction with the Dutch-side KPSM will be intensified. He said there are still instances of people not sticking to the confinement rules. The borders at Belle Plaine and Bellevue will be controlled 24/7.

Cross border travel is strictly prohibited without the mandatory exemption documents. A new form has been produced on the French side for travel to the Dutch side which must be obtained personally from the Préfète.

Préfète Déléguée Sylvie Feucher said she does not envisage implementing a curfew on the French side for the moment saying more controls can be conducted by extra Gendarmes, hence the arrival of 16 on Saturday. She reiterated that the virus is circulating around the whole territory, in all the districts and the most recent in Sandy Ground.

“We cannot blame this virus on tourists any more, there are no tourists,” she said, expressing frustration that some people are still not getting how serious the message is. “All districts of the island are affected. Stay at home. Your health, your lives, your family and of those around you are at stake.”

The Préfecture and the ARS reminded, in addition to COVID-19, it is necessary to be vigilant and take precautions not to contract dengue fever which is still active in the territory. The present confinement order is a perfect time to destroy mosquito breeding sites.

As of October 2019, more than 7,000 cases of dengue fever have been reported, with symptoms sometimes similar to those of the coronavirus. Protect yourself from mosquito bites by using mosquito repellents and by sleeping with a net over the bed. In case of fever ask for a medical opinion to avoid over loading the emergency hotline 15.

President of the Collectivité Daniel Gibbs announced there will be a weekly live COVID-19 situation report on the Our News Facebook page on Monday afternoons with the first one tomorrow April 6 at 4:00pm presented by Gibbs and first Vice-President Valérie Damaseau. Questions from the press can be submitted.

The Daily Herald.

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