Health care workers in Martinique on Wednesday morning took to the streets in protest against a requirement that they get vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk sanctions or fines.
French President Emmanuel Macron recently ordered all French health care workers to get vaccine shots by September 15, asserting that the jabs are essential for people employed in health care facilities, nursing homes and individuals who care for the elderly or ailing at home.
According to media reports in Martinique, a crowd of over 1,000 caregivers and health care workers marched from La Meynard Hospital to the Regional Health Agency in Fort de France to demonstrate their concern over the new measure.
Organisers of the protest accused the authorities of disrespecting health care workers and disregarding their fundamental rights.
They have also said that the authorities have engaged in shameful stigmatisation of health care workers who are supposed to be among the heroes on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19.
But in addition to protesting against the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine issue, the protestors have also come out against special COVID-19 passes announced by the French President.
The passes are obtained after proof of being fully vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus or in possession of a fresh negative test.
Martinique is currently experiencing a new surge in COVID-19 cases, with over two thousand new infections recorded during the period between July 12 and July 18.