Covid-19: in Guyana, hospitals overwhelmed and staff at the end of the line

French Overseas Minister Sébastien Lecornu (right) meets health workers during a visit to the Cayenne Hospital Center (CH), Cayenne, September 25, 2021. AFP - JODY AMIET

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2 min

While the Covid-19 epidemic continues to decrease in metropolitan France, the situation remains dramatic in Guyana.

The wave caused by the Delta variant is filling hospitals when only 30% of the population is vaccinated.


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Sébastien Lecornu is worried about the future of Guyana. The Minister of Overseas Territories is on site until September 28. He came to see a situation witnessed by caregivers for weeks: saturated resuscitation services, overwhelmed emergencies, staff at the end of their rope. The Covid-19 epidemic is extremely violent there: 21 deaths in one week. Compared to the population of 300,000 inhabitants, this is a sad record in France, unheard of even during the first wave.

In addition to this very dark picture, there are strong tensions between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, which the nursing staff also testify.

A vaccination campaign organized at the beginning of the week by the Red Cross was thus prevented by opponents.

The hospital staff come to work with fear in their stomachs

 ", assures Christiane Vanessche, care coordinator in a Cayenne hospital center.

"Caregivers feel alone" without "any political support"

The duality between vaccinated and non-vaccinated staff is "

 extremely worrying

 " explains the health officer, also citing the state of fatigue of the teams and the wave of sick leave underway at the hospital, which today affects a staff. out of five. “

 The caregivers feel alone 

” in the face of this violence, explains in turn with great weariness Guillaume Icher, the manager of the Cayenne vaccine park, who regrets that there is “

 no political support


To date, Guyana has the lowest coverage with Guadeloupe: only just over 30% of the population is protected against Covid-19. “ 

10% of the population is covidosceptic, 15% are


who prefer natural immunity and traditional remedies and 25% of the population are undecided,

 ” indicates epidemiologist Claude Flamand from the Institut Pasteur in Guyana.

Faced with this situation, local politicians refuse to clearly call on residents to be vaccinated, whether Christiane Taubira or the president of the local assembly Gabriel Serville.

They feel that is not their role.

Only George Patient, senator from Guyana, sent a clear message in favor of vaccination.

The solution, he says, for a return to normal life.

For months, Guyana has been under more or less tight semi-confinements.

Restaurants and entertainment centers are still closed.

Sporting and social life is lackluster, causing many tensions.

And these restrictions may well continue until the undecided are ready.

► See also: France: back to school postponed in the West Indies and Guyana due to Covid-19


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