The University Hospital Centre in Martinique, under pressure from a fourth COVID-19 wave, Monday night welcomed 30 soldiers from the French Army Health Service and Medical Regiment, local reports say.
The visitors, who arrived aboard a military plane that landed at Aimé Césaire International Airport, brought medical equipment and beds for use at the public hospital.
A second contingent of soldiers is due in Martinique on Saturday, bringing the full complement in the French Caribbean territory to 50.
On Saturday, the first group of COVID-19 patients who were being cared for by Martinique’s University Hospital left for France, as the hospital declared that the fourth COVID-19 wave had stretched its capacity to render care to patients infected with the virus and was hampering its ability to provide medical attention to non-COVID patients.
The medical institution said that the situation had forced it to suspend certain hospitalisations while focussing on cases of emergency.
Recently, the hospital issued a call for medical volunteers, including medical personnel who had retired within the last five years, to help the institution to cope.
But since then, the situation has deteriorated.
According to Martinique 1Ere, the Island recorded 14 COVID-19 deaths between Saturday and Sunday, plus 15 deaths during the previous two days – a total of 29 deaths in four days.
In addition, a total of 3,395 new cases of coronavirus were recorded between July 28 and August 2, 2021.
Medical officials say that the situation is unprecedented.
Headline photo: Soldiers head for Martinique University Hospital