MARIGOT–While the coronavirus situation is unchanged: two cases in St. Martin and two in St. Barths, the two cases in St. Martin have been hospitalised and placed in a dedicated department for care and closer monitoring, health agency ARS stated in its Thursday bulletin.
Tracing conducted by ARS and Public Health France is continuing to identify the travel history and contacts of the COVID-19-confirmed patients. Persons who may have been exposed are called by telephone by the dedicated ARS team to inform them, tell them what to do (remain in isolation and monitor their state of health), and what they should do to be treated if symptoms appear.
ARS of Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barths, in partnership with the Assurance Maladie and the French Red Cross, is setting up a Response, Information, Guidance and Follow-up platform to support the process of identifying and referring patients.
This platform will be operational as of Friday and will prevent the call centre 15 from being saturated in order to preserve its function of attending to vital emergency situations.
The strategy for screening and patient management in St. Martin and St. Barths is based on national recommendations. The proposal for screening patients with signs of COVID-19 is currently being adapted. The main principles are as follows: systematic screening of hospitalised persons, screening of persons at risk following a medical assessment, screening of professionals essential to the continuity of service for the population, and screening by sentinel physicians of persons showing signs to assess spread of the epidemic in the population.
Routine screening for the entire population would not be beneficial for people with mild forms and would, through a massive influx of tests, put the laboratory in difficulty, potentially causing delays in treatment for severe cases. It must be understood that we have moved from a strategy of identifying the entry of the virus into our territory to a strategy of identifying the most severe cases.