Martinique has extended a curfew that has been in place since July 30 by three weeks until September 19, as the Island copes with a fourth COVID-19 wave.
Prefect Stanislas Cazelles says the current COVID-19 situation on the French Caribbean Island does not allow the authorities to do otherwise.
According to local news reports, between August 16 and 22, Martinique recorded 3, 211 new cases while the Island’s main University Hospital remains under intense pressure to cope with the COVID-19 surge, despite an increase in bed capacity.
And although the incidence rate fell over seven days to 875 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 1,200 per 100,000 inhabitants previously, the number of those on the waiting list for emergency care due to the virus is long.
“It’s like emptying the ocean with a teaspoon,” AFP quoted emergency doctor, Jean-François Bouet, as saying.
Bouet is one of several health care professionals who have travelled from France to Martinique to help local care givers meet the demands placed on the health sector by the COVID-19 spike.
He said he encountered a disaster when he arrived, with an emergency department that was completely overwhelmed.
Martinique has recorded 405 hospital deaths due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including 162 between August 9 and 22.
RCI.FM reported that on Tuesday, 78 people were in intensive care compared to 61 last week with a total of 539 patients being hospitalised due to COVID-19, up from 444 last week.