MARIGOT–The coronavirus situation remains unchanged as of Friday, health agency ARS reported in its latest bulletin. St. Martin has two confirmed cases, including one who has been evacuated to Guadeloupe for more appropriate care. St. Barths has two confirmed cases.
St. Martin has one patient still hospitalised and his clinical condition remains stable. None of the hospitalised patients are in intensive care for the moment.
“We continue to call for the utmost cooperation and solidarity from everyone in order to apply and respect national guidelines. Everyone is responsible to be aware of the importance of confinement,” ARS said in its release.
Starting Friday afternoon, ARS opened a contact and referral platform for COVID-19 symptomatic patients to ease the burden on the number 15 call centre and to preserve its capacity to respond to vital emergency situations.
The number to call is (0590) 99.14.74 from 8:00am to 6:00pm seven days a week. The platform mainly aims to inform the population about the COVID-19 epidemic, to reinforce hospital coordination, to offer a telemedicine solution for health professionals to better follow patients while reducing as much as possible the patient-caregiver contacts, and to disseminate prevention messages that will slow down the epidemic (containment, barrier measures). This platform has been set up with the support of the Assurance Maladie, volunteer health workers and the Red Cross.
ARS doctors point out that systematic screening for the entire population would not benefit people with benign forms and would, by a massive influx of tests, put the laboratory in difficulty; potentially causing delays in the treatment of severe cases. Only hospitalised persons with evocative symptoms, certain persons at risk and professionals who are indispensable to the continuity of service will be able to be tested.
Screening consists of a test looking for the virus in respiratory secretions that can only be carried out in certain specialised laboratories. Samples can be taken by volunteer doctors on a limited basis in order to assess the level of circulation among people with few symptoms.
Compliance with confinement and hygiene barrier measures are currently the best means of stopping this virus.