MARIGOT--Three cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) were confirmed as positive in the Northern Islands by the Institut Pasteur Laboratory of Guadeloupe which is conducting the tests. The case involves a resident of St. Barthélemy and his visiting relatives, regional health authority ARS confirmed in a press release Sunday.
The St. Barthélemy resident is currently confined to his home and under daily surveillance. His state of health is not cause for concern. His parents are in isolation in St. Martin's Louis-Constant Fleming hospital and are being closely monitored. Their state of health is not worrying.
Samples from people who have been in contact with them are being analysed or taken. There are, moreover, two other possible cases with a couple of residents of St. Martin who have returned from holidays in the Oise. Their test samples are currently being processed.
To date, there are no possible or confirmed cases in Guadeloupe. However, as the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated, "the virus no longer has borders" and the potential risk of having cases anywhere in the world is very high. It should be noted that the strongest possibility of entry of the virus into Guadeloupe is from the arrival of asymptomatic people, either visiting or returning home, who will not report the infection until a few days later.
This is why the strategy to fight this infection is to provide information on the behaviour to adopt when symptoms appear i.e. dialing 15, isolating oneself, having as little contact as possible with one's family and friends, and wearing a mask when ill, testing and analysis of samples when the case is classified as possible by Service d’Aide Medicale Urgente (SAMU) and/or by the infectiologists, and lastly management adapted to each case.
Spread of the disease is precipitated by contacts of less than 1.5 metres distance for a period of at least 10 minutes but above all from contamination via the hands. Hands touch the face on average every minute and encourage the virus to enter through eyes, nose and mouth.
To avoid the spread of coronavirus, it is absolutely essential to avoid kissing in a greeting, avoid shaking hands, wash your hands at least every hour, use hydro-alcoholic solutions, sneeze into your elbow, and use disposable tissues. Wearing a mask when you are not ill is not useful because it is mostly the hands that are carriers of the virus. Masks are useful for sick people when they are in the presence of other people and for caregivers who are in close contact with the sick.
Daily bulletins will be distributed to the press and elected officials throughout the duration of the epidemic.