So far spared by the Covid-19 epidemic thanks to its “zero Covid” strategy, New Caledonia has recorded 16 deaths in twenty-four hours, local authorities announced on Wednesday September 22, which is the most heavy since the start of the epidemic in early September. This French territory in the South Pacific “Is going through a crisis never seen in its entire history”, alerted Gilbert Tyuienon, one of the spokespersons for the local government.
A total of 49 people have died from Covid-19 since the discovery of the first indigenous cases on September 6. Sixteen died on Tuesday, double the number of victims recorded the day before. Fifty-two people are in intensive care and 323 hospitalized in Covid units while the epidemic peak has not been reached, explains the direction of health affairs.
According to the local hospital, the country is entering the harshest phase of the epidemic and it could last a long time despite measures taken to break chains of transmission, such as containment and curfew in effect until October 4. .
Numerous co-morbid factors
Caledonians indeed suffer from many comorbid factors: 67% of adults are obese and the number of diabetics is estimated at 10%. These health problems mainly concern the Oceanian population, which also displays the most mistrust of vaccination.
In a press conference broadcast live on radio and television channels, Vaimu’a Muliava, a member of the government of Wallisian origin, begged his community to get vaccinated as soon as possible: ” The situation is serious (…). We beg you. If you don’t believe the political word, believe the word of the doctor who treats you every day! “, launched Mr. Muliava.
At the same press conference, Gilbert Tyuienon asked Caledonians to become “Antivirus fighters” in this “Unprecedented health war” : “The curfew, we have not known it since the Events [1984-1988], so many deaths, in so few days, we have never known, Caledonians stranded outside, except during the Second World War, either ”, recalled the spokesperson of the government.
Flights to New Caledonia have been suspended since March 20, 2020 except for compelling reasons. In addition, 70 members of the health reserve arrived from metropolitan France on Tuesday to help the medical teams.