COVID-19 pandemic in French Guiana

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached the French overseas department and region of French Guiana. The first five cases were found on 4 March [3] and the first death was announced on 20 April 2020.[4]

COVID-19 pandemic in French Guiana
Covid french guiana-2020-05-07.png
Cases per region as of 7 May 2020. The colour indicates the cases per 100,000 capita.[1]
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationFrench Guiana
First outbreakFrance
Index caseSaint-Laurent-du-Maroni
Arrival date4 March 2020
(2 months, 3 weeks and 1 day)
Confirmed cases353[2] (2020-05-25)
Recovered146
Deaths
1
Government website
COVID-INFO

BackgroundEdit

On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.[5][6]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003,[7][8] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[9][7]

TimelineEdit

COVID-19 cases in French Guiana  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases
Date
# of cases
2020-03-04
5
5(=)
2020-03-11
6([10]+20%)
2020-03-12
6(=)
2020-03-13
7([11]+17%)
2020-03-14
7(=)
2020-03-15
11([12]+58%)
11(=)
2020-03-18
15([12]+36%)
2020-03-19
15(=)
2020-03-20
18([13]+20%)
2020-03-21
19([14]+5.6%)
2020-03-22
20([15]+5.2%)
2020-03-23
23([16]+15%)
2020-03-24
27([17]+17%)
2020-03-25
30([18]+11%)
2020-03-26
31([19]+3.1%)
2020-03-27
34([20]+9.7%)
2020-03-28
37([21]+8.8%)
2020-03-29
43([22]+6.2%)
2020-03-30
46([23]+7.0%)
2020-03-31
51([24]+11%)
2020-04-01
55([25]+20%)
2020-04-02
57([26]+22%)
2020-04-03
61([27]+7.0%)
2020-04-04
66([28]+8.2%)
2020-04-05
68([29]+3.0%)
2020-04-06
72([30]=)
2020-04-07
77([31]+6.9%)
2020-04-08
83([32]+7.8%)
2020-04-09
84([33]+1.2%)
2020-04-10
86([34]+2.3%)
2020-04-11
86([35]=)
2020-04-12
88([36]+2.3%)
2020-04-13
88([37]=)
2020-04-14
95([38]+8.0%)
2020-04-15
96([39]+1.0%)
2020-04-16
96([40]=)
2020-04-17
96([41]=)
2020-04-18
96([42]=)
2020-04-19
97([43]+1.0%)
2020-04-20
97([44]=)
2020-04-21
97([45]=)
2020-04-22
107([46]+10%)
2020-04-23
109([47]+1.9%)
2020-04-24
111([48]+1.8%)
2020-04-25
111([49]=)
2020-04-26
111([50]=)
2020-04-27
124([51]+12%)
2020-04-28
125([52]+0.8%)
2020-04-29
126([53]+0.8%)
2020-04-30
128([54]+1.6%)
2020-05-01
129([55]+0.8%)
2020-05-02
131([56]+1.6%)
2020-05-03
133([57]+1.5%)
2020-05-04
133([58]=)
2020-05-05
138([59]+3.8%)
2020-05-06
138([60]=)
2020-05-07
141([61]+2.2%)
2020-05-08
141([62]=)
2020-05-09
144([63]+2.1%)
2020-05-11
146([64]+1.3%)
2020-05-12
153([65]+4.8%)
2020-05-13
164([66]+7.1%)
2020-05-14
184([67]+12%)
2020-05-15
189([68]+2.7%)
2020-05-16
197([69]+4.2%)
2020-05-18
210([70]+6.5%)
2020-05-19
218([71]+3.8%)
2020-05-20
237([72]+8.7%)
2020-05-21
249([73]+5.1%)
2020-05-22
261([74]+4.8%)
2020-05-23
279([75]+6.9%)
2020-05-24
328([76]+18%)
2020-05-25
353([2]+7.6%)
Data sourced from guyane.gouv.fr
Note: No update for 10 May.[77] 17 May: idem.

MarchEdit

On 4 March, French Guiana had five confirmed cases of COVID-19, all in Saint-Laurent du Maroni.[3]

On 6 March, Guiana Space Center has suspended launch activities.[78]

On 15 March, the following measure were announced by the President of the Republic: It is prohibited to leave the house except for essential journeys which includes: shopping for food, travelling to work, accessing healthcare, and exercising within 1 km of the household.[79] Marc Del Grande, the Prefect of French Guiana, announced closing of borders with Suriname and Brazil, mandatory 14 day quarantine for people coming from abroad, and a curfew between 21:00 and 05:00.[80]

On 22 March, all air travel for passengers will be halted from midnight onwards.[81]

On 24 March, Marie-Laure Phinera-Horth, the Mayor of Cayenne had instituted a curfew from 20:00 to 05:00 unlike the rest of the region.[82]

On 30 March, a member of the nursing staff at the Cayenne nursing home tested positive.[80]

AprilEdit

On 4 April, a laboratory assistant from Andrée-Rosemon Hospital tested positive.[83]

On 7 April, there were 77 cases and 34 recoveries. The districts affected are Saint-Laurent, Kourou, Cayenne and Maripasoula [31] Groupe Bernard Hayot has donated 1,300,000 masks for free to health works in Martinique, Gaudeloupe, Guiana, and Réunion [84]

On 9 April, the European Union announced a grant of €8M (US$8.6M), which will be implemented by the Caribbean Public Health Agency, for the fight against the Corona virus. French Guiana is one of the 24 members of the CARPHA.[85]
The Agence régionale de santé Guyane released a special report on the situation: 780 tests had been performed, 985 contacts had been traced, 42 cases were imported and 41 cases resulted from community spread.[86]
A cluster of 13 cases has been located at the indigenous village Cécilia in Matoury. 13 out of 16 suspected cases have tested positive. The Prefect has ordered a confinement of the village.[87] On 14 April, six more children from Cécilia tested positive; they are getting better.[88] The confinement of Cécilia has been lifted on 2 May, and the 300 inhabitants can resume their normal life.[89]

 
Marc Del Grande, Prefect of French-Guiana

On 10 April, the report of the Scientific Council on the Evolution of the Coronavirus in the Overseas Territories has been released which calls for strict confinement, doubling of hospital capacity.[90] ARS Guyane replied on 13 April that they will apply certain recommendations, but also stated that the number of ICU beds had been increased to 38 and is sufficient at moment given that there are currently no people on ICU.[91]

On 11 April, France and Suriname announced joint efforts to prevent illegal crossings of the Maroni river separating Suriname and French Guiana,[92] and established a contact point in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni and Albina.[93] On 13 April, the Prefect mobilised the army to guard the river for its entire length.[94]

On 12 April, Dr. Hatem Kallel announced that the patient who had been in ICU since 2 April has been discharged. There are currently no patients in intensive care.[95]

On 13 April, there are concerns about price gouging, however Gilles Klaus, Director of Carrefour Matoury, denies the allegations.[96] On 15 April, a commitment charter for price moderation between the State and 21 essential companies was signed.[97]

On 15 April, it was reported that following the outbreak in Cécilia, several indigenous villages mainly located in Matoury and Macouria have voluntarily locked down.[98]
Officials from French Guiana's local authorities voted to set up an emergency fund of €8.7 million in the form of 0-rate loans to help businesses. The opposition and tourism authority fear that it is not enough.[99]

On 16 April, it was announced that 330 healthcare workers at Andrée Rosemon Hospital Center in Cayenne will be tested, because up to now five staff members have tested positive.[100]
According to the situation report of ARS, there are 42 imported cases and 54 cases of community spread. Only 6% of the cases are over 65. 20 people are in hospital and 3 are in ICU.[101]

On 17 April, the Red Cross started a food parcel distribution operation in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni.[102]

On 20 April, the first death was announced. A 70-year-old man died last night in the Cayenne hospital. He died between 23:00 and 1:00.[4]

On 21 April, Antoine Joly, the French ambassador to Suriname, revealed in an interview that the town of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni has been shielded off from the rest of the region, and that most of the cases have been imported.[103]
Hôtel Du Fleuve near the village of Sinnamary was requisitioned to be used for quarantine or COVID-19 patients. The hotel had become deserted after the Russian technicians from the Guianan Soyuz launch site returned home.[104]

 
Maroni river near Grand-Santi

On 22 April, there were 107 cases and 84 recoveries. The virus has spread to Grand-Santi, a man who worked at the Medical Center of West Guiana, came into contact with residents of the kampong Tonka. An investigation resulted in nine positive cases. The kampong has been put in confinement.[105] Other districts affected are Saint-Laurent, Kourou, Cayenne, and Maripasoula.[46] They have been quarantined in the above-mentioned Hôtel Du Fleuve.[106] On 24 April, the confinement was extended to villages Mafoutou and Monfina located about 10 km south of Grand-Santi Airport.[107] Of the 66 people tested on Friday and Saturday, 12 tested positive.[108] On 13 May, it was reported that there have been no new cases in Grand-Santi for two weeks. 22 cases have been discovered in the area.[109]

On 25 April, the announcement of a new cluster at St-Georges de l'Oyapock near the border with Brazil has resulted in a reinforcement of controls on the border. The Brazilian border town of Oiapoque has 7 confirmed cases.[110] As of 29 April, Oiapoque has 23 infected people and one death.[111]

On 28 April, Georges Patient raised the alarm in the Senate of France that the local communities in the overseas territories will suffer an enormous fall in revenue as a result of the coronavirus, and that the current provisions in the 2020 finance bill are severely inadequate.[112]
The poorest households will receive two government bonuses. €9.8 million has been allocated and will aid 35,000 households and 68,000 children.[113]

On 29 April, the local government of French Guiana voted unanimously against the reopening of schools as announced by Macron. School will recommence in September.[114]
The confinement is still causing long queues at service stations to get gas cylinders. Even though there is no shortage, there is a limited amount of places were they can be obtained.[115]
Arianespace will gradually resume its operations from 11 May onwards. Flight VV16/SSMS will launch mid July. The Soyuz missions will resume this summer.[116]

On 30 April, French Guiana is now listed green meaning that the virus is under control. There are currently two patients in hospital and no patients in intensive care.[117]
Families can once again visits their elders in nursing homes (EHPAD). The visits are only Thursday morning, by appointment and under strict measures.[118]

MayEdit

On 2 May, the indigenous village of Organabo in Iracoubo voluntarily confined itself. Chief Ernest Grand Emile is concerned because the 200 people of the village are mainly elderly, and village is self sufficient.[119]

On 7 May, Olivier Véran, Minister of Solidarity and Health, announced that workers in nursing homes (EHPADs) will receive a €1,000 to €1,500 bonus.[120]

 
Oyapock River Bridge connecting Saint-Georges with Oiapoque

From 11 May, the first stage of deconfinement has come into effect, except for Saint-Georges de l'Oyapock which will remain confined, because up to now 19 cases have been discovered there.[121] The curfew is now from 23:00 to 05:00.[122]
The Pasteur Institute announced that they will start a drive-by testing project and plan to increase the number of tests to 500 per day. Private laboratories have responded to the call, but are not ready yet. On Sunday 10 May there was no report, because the materials were not transported to the hospital laboratories.[123]

On 12 May, the market of Cayenne closed until further notice, but the market of Saint-Laurent will reopen on 13 May.[124]

On 13 May, the number of cases increased by 11, ten of which have been reported in Saint-Georges de l'Oyapock which has 37 cases so far.[125] On the other side of the border in Oiapoque, Brazil, the situation is even worse: 57 people have been infected with the virus, however the city lacks medical staff, tests and equipment, therefore a state of emergency has been declared.[126]

On 14 May, an action plan for Saint-Georges de l'Oyapock has been announced: A massive screening operation will start in next week, and movement between neighbourhoods will be limited.[127]

On 18 May, Georges Elfort, the mayor of Saint-Georges, announced that the whole population will be tested whether they are or symptomatic or not.[128]

Preventive measuresEdit

  • All borders, airports, ports and space ports [78] are closed for passengers.[81] Guiana Space Center will reopen on 11 May.[116]
  • All schools are closed.[129] Schools will not reopen on 11 May.[114]
  • A curfew has been instituted in Cayenne from 20:00.[82] and 21:00 elsewhere.[80] From 11 May onward, the curfew will be changed from 23:00 to 05:00 except in Saint-Georges de l'Oyapock which will remain confined.[122]
  • Everybody should stay at home except for essential journeys.[79] Certificates are needed for exceptions.[130] From 11 May onward, this has been revoked except for Saint-Georges de l'Oyapock.[122]
  • All non-essential businesses must close.[129] On 11 May, businesses will reopen.[131]
  • On 11 May, deconfinement will start, businesses will reopen, masks are mandatory and the beaches will reopen. Restaurants and bars will not reopen. There will be a mandatory 14 day quarantine for people entering the territory.[120]

Crisis managementEdit

 
Andrée Rosemon Hospital in Cayenne

French Guiana is an overseas department and region of the French Republic and the State is represented by a Prefect. One of the tasks of the Prefect is to manage major crises. Marc Del Grande is the current Prefect and therefore in charge of the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Testing for COVID-19 is being performed by the Pasteur Institute in Cayenne on weekdays, and in the laboratories of the Andrée-Rosemon Hospital in Cayenne, and the Centre Hospitalier in Kourou in the weekend.[132][123] Mirdad Kazanji, Director of the Pasteur Institute, explained that to ensure the quality of the testing, both negative and positive samples have been send to and received from the Central Laboratory in Paramaribo, Suriname.[133]

ResearchEdit

On 23 March 2020, the Pasteur Institute of French Guiana has initiated EPI-COVID-19, a study into the transmission of the coronavirus within the household. 300 contacts which are part of a family which has a diagnosed patient are monitored clinically, virologically and serologically. The study is funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Pasteur Institute, and ARS Guyane.[134][135]

Situation reportEdit

Situation report of 7 May 2020
Tests Samples analysed 2,445
Origin Imported 45 (33%)
Community transmission 93 (67%)
Age <15 20
15-44 75
45-64 32
65-74 4
≥75 2
Clusters Number of clusters 17
Average size 6.3
Average days between symptoms first and second case 5.9
Family clusters 8
Community clusters 9
Contact tracing Number of subjects 1,241
Average number of contacts per case 8.7
Number of confirmed cases among contacts 35 (28%)

Source: ARS Guyane Spécial COVID-19 2020-05-07

StatisticsEdit

Chronology of the number of active cases

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit