Doctors latest group to protest border closure | THE DAILY HERALD

MARIGOT–Fifteen French-side doctors have spoken out against the Préfecture’s decision to close the St. Maarten/St. Martin border, as well as the way the COVID-19 positive cases have been communicated to the public.

In a letter to Préfète Déléguée Sylvie Feucher, the doctors first make three observations: that “the State compares a map of the number of positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) cases to a previous map of hospitalised people; the Préfecture states that the new Préfet of Guadeloupe Alexandre Rochatte was contaminated in St. Martin on his courtesy visit, when the incubation period tells us that he was contaminated in Guadeloupe; and regional health agency ARS tells RFO Radio that the return of the epidemic was started by Americans four days before the first planes arrived at Princess Juliana Airport.”

The doctors said the public has been “sold” on the closing of the border for sanitary reasons, to reduce a mixing of the population. 

“The current positive cases are mostly healthy carriers, most of them not contagious. Consider them as ‘vaccinated’, not as dangers,” the letter states. “Elderly and frail patients must always be protected, but this has nothing to do with the border closure. The Préfecture is managing the COVID crisis without talking to any of the doctors in St. Martin.

“The number of positive biological tests is their only argument to justify the border closure, but it’s not scientific. It is more likely that the border is closed for an obvious political reason.  “Our patients have no more money, they don’t all have enough to eat. Those who live on the Dutch side can’t be treated easily. The economy on both sides of the island is declining dangerously. Children are no longer allowed to go to school. There is no medical justification for what is happening here.  “If we, the island’s doctors, do not have the power to stop the closing of borders, we have a duty to warn the population that this has nothing to do with useful medical measures in the current state of the pandemic. Madame La Préfète, please re-open the borders, and let St. Martin live and breathe,” the doctors said in the letter.

The letter is signed by Dr. Marc Thibault, Dr. Joël Gomez, Dr. Pierre-Yves Merlet, Dr. Jean-Marie Galeotti, Dr. Roland Demambeke, Dr. Valérie Schreiber, Dr. Benjamin Mekki, Dr. Julien Pichon, Dr. Yves Journo, Dr. Bernard Vassel, Dr. Blaise Bartoli, Dr. Jean-François Bartoli, Dr. Patrice Filipigh, Dr. Christophe Chelle, and Dr. Bertrand Lacotte.

Source: The Daily Herald