In French Polynesia, High Commissioner Dominique Sorain announced on Tuesday (Wednesday in Paris) an extension of confinement to the whole weekend, while the incidence rate continues to increase, now reaching 2,614 cases of Covid per 100,000 inhabitants .
The virus appeared to have almost disappeared from Polynesia between March and July. But with the Delta variant, he returned with incredible violence, saturating the Tahiti hospital center in one month, with a toll of thirteen deaths in 24 hours and 294 hospitalizations, including 38 in intensive care.
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Total containment for the moment excluded
Dominique Sorain and the President of French Polynesia, Edouard Fritch, however refuse to re-define Polynesia to avoid paralyzing its economy.
“We must not rush the country into this economic crash, and this is what hangs in our face“Mr. Fritch said.”We cannot plunge the Polynesian people into nameless poverty“, he warned.
The high commissioner therefore extended to Saturday the confinement, which so far only concerned Sunday, on the five most affected islands: Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, Taha’a and Huahine. The curfew, from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., is maintained throughout the five Polynesian archipelagos. Proof of vaccination or a negative test will be required for inter-island travel.
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Because the islands and atolls far from Tahiti, which often only have a small infirmary, are also concerned. Every day, planes transport the most seriously ill patients to the hospital center, which has reorganized all its services to reserve half of its beds for the Covid sector.
Sorting patients in the hospital
Fifteen nurses from the health reserve arrived from mainland on Monday, others are expected, as well as reinforcements from New Caledonia. But the lack of beds and caregivers is already forcing the hospital to refuse patients.
President Edouard Fritch has announced that he will submit to the local assembly a law that will impose vaccination on caregivers and people working with fragile audiences.
The start of the school year took place last week in Polynesia and President Fritch wants to keep the students in class. However, many schools have already chosen to close due to too many cases of Covid-19 among their students or staff.
On the island of Moorea, neighboring Tahiti, the mayor has chosen to close all schools. Several teachers ‘unions and the Federation of Parents’ Associations are also calling for schools to be closed.