Monitoring and Prevention of COVID-19
In the French Caribbean Island of Martinique
The Martinique Tourism Authority, the Port of Martinique, the Martinique International Airport are closely monitoring the island’s points of entry to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and ensure the safety of its residents and visitors.
As reported by the director of the Regional Health Agency’s (A.R.S.), the island is and remains in Stage 1 of a 3-stage prevention protocol established by the French Government in 2009 following the H1N1 flu epidemic. Stage 1 is prevention and all procedures and protective measures are in place:
- All disembarking cruise passengers are being systematically screened. Anchorage, to come ashore for smaller luxury boats, is no longer permitted. They must go to port terminals to be screened by the Regional Health Agency of Martinique.
- Safety protocols are posted and implemented in all marinas and small ports.
- As of Thursday, March 5, 2020, sanitary measures are being enforced by the Regional Health Agency of Martinique with the presence of firefighters.
- Since, February 29, 2020, prevention notices have been posted at the airport and since March 4, airline passengers are given these notices prior to landing.
- Additional sanitary inspectors have been positioned at the airport.
- Martinique’s main hospital is prepared for any changes in this sanitary crisis, readied isolation units and expanded it testing capabilities.
On March 12th, 4 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were announced by the Regional Health Agency (A.R.S.) in Martinique. These 4 cases are currently in isolation at the CHU Martinique Hospital, La Meynard, in a special and sheltered quarantine unit.
A crisis division was immediately activated by the ARS, to search for, identify and monitor contact cases:
people who have had close and prolonged contact with infected patients.
In anticipation of this global outbreak, the A.R.S. and the CHU Martinique Hospital have been proactively preparing in the event of confirmed case in the island.
Speaking on this topic, the director of the Martinique Tourism Authority, Mr. François Languedoc-Baltus noted that “it is very important that our guests be aware that the regional and tourism authorities are prepared and have taken in the last weeks all the necessary steps to prevent and contain the virus.” He added that “Martinique has one of the best hospitals and healthcare systems in the Caribbean—on par with mainland France and the E.U.”
Meanwhile, the local population and visitors are reminded to follow established recommendations to prevent infection. These include:
- Regular hand washing with soap and water or an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw away after use or cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
- Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
- If you have flu-like symptoms do not go to a doctor or hospital to avoid any spread of the virus and instead call emergency services, the SAMU (dial 15) and share your travel history. They will send a specialist to evaluate your symptoms.
For updates and more information about the COVID-19 and the measures in place in Martinique, please visit the A.R.S. website http://www.martinique.gouv.fr/Politiques-publiques/Environnement-sante-publique/Sante/COVID-19-informations-recommandations-points-de-situation-attestation-de-deplacement