ARS Territorial Director Paul Guibert (right) talks at a press conference Monday as Préfet Serge Gouteyron (centre) and Red Cross vaccinodrome director Cédric Jeannot (left) look on. (Robert Luckock photo)
~ Préfet warns of stronger measures if spread not contained ~
MARIGOT--Préfet Délégué Serge Gouteyron warned at a press conference Monday that stronger restrictive measures will be imposed without hesitation if a sudden surge in new COVID-19 cases is not contained.
Regional Health Authority ARS reported 64 new cases in one week, after a long period of relative stability with an average of 22 new cases reported each week. An indication of the sudden increase was evident in the last ARS health bulletin that indicated 31 cases had already been identified for the next week’s bulletin.
Gouteyron described the situation as “degraded” and currently in an orange alert phase that could turn to red by the end of the week.
“I attribute this to the population and some businesses letting their guard down in the last 10 days, having a more relaxed attitude and having a false sense of security because the situation had been good for a long time,” he reasoned. “But the virus is still circulating and the pandemic is not over.”
Also present at the press conference were ARS Territorial Director Paul Guibert and Cédric Jeannot, who is in charge of the Red Cross vaccinodrome in Galisbay. Guibert expressed concern that hospitalisations in Louis-Constant Fleming Hospital have gone from zero to seven, in addition to two evacuations to Guadeloupe.
Jeannot said the vaccinodrome can administer 200-300 vaccinations per day. Some 440 vaccinations were given last week. He reminded that leaflets explaining the objective of being vaccinated are published in French, English, Spanish and Creole.
Gouteyron insisted on vigilance and respect for the sanitary protocols at all times, and urged the population to get vaccinated. Reluctance of the population on the French side to get vaccinated was noted.
Some 6,238 persons have now received their first vaccine dose and 2,070 their second dose.