A first case of coronavirus has just been confirmed in Reunion, this Wednesday, March 11, by the prefecture. This patient is taken care of by the CHU Nord teams. The 80-year-old man was part of a group of 34 Reunion tourists on a Caribbean cruise
Posted on March 11, 2020, at 4:07 p.m., updated on March 11, 2020 at 6:12 p.m.
The prefecture and the Regional Health Agency confirm a first case of coronavirus-covid19 in Reunion, this Wednesday, March 11. “This patient is being taken care of by the CHU Nord teams. His state of health shows no sign of seriousness. Investigations by the regional health agency and the regional public health unit in France are underway to identify the people who have been in close and prolonged contact with this person “, indicates in a press release the prefecture.
5:00 p.m. point with Réunion the 1st radio
A patient treated at the CHU Nord
“According to the protocol in force, this person was placed in solitary confinement in the department responsible for the management of the pathology at CHU Nord. An 80-year-old man, returning from a trip to the United States , who transited through Paris before his return to Reunion. His state of health shows no sign of seriousness today, specifies the authorities. Each contact person will be subject to recommendations adapted to their level of exposure and in particular containment measures to avoid and limit any possible epidemic spread. “
According to the first information released today by the prefect and the ARS, the 80-year-old man lives in a couple. He was part of a group of 34 people, 34 from Reunion who participated in a cruise from Miami. These 34 tourists were asked to stay at home while tests were carried out. They participated in a cruise to the Bahamas in the Caribbean.
The patient experienced the first symptoms of Coronavirus on March 6. Since his return to La Réunion and his telephone call to his doctor, he has stayed at home with his wife. The couple have not visited anyone since their return from vacation.
The prefect Jacques Billant and the ARS, the Regional Health Agency are currently taking stock:
Reunion remains at stage 1
Reunion Island is still in stage 1 of management of the Coronavirus-covid 19 epidemic. “There are no plans to progress to stage 2 at this time,” confirms the prefecture.
This morning, the prefect Jacques Billant held a press conference during which he considered that the epidemic was “inevitable”, and “The question was not whether the virus would reach Reunion, but when”. “We are committed to curbing the introduction of the virus in Reunion, we are ready to manage level 2 and we anticipate without waiting the preparation of the measures to be implemented if we were to go to stage 3”, assured Jacques Billant. “We have to be cool and vigilant”, explained the prefect, who however refused to give the number of tests carried out on Covid-19 on the island.
2,000 calls per day to the SAMU
According to the authorities, the return from school holidays will be “a risk factor to take into account”. In case of symptoms, the prefect reminds that “contact the SAMU, center 15, stay at home, do not go to the hospital emergency room or the waiting room of your doctor”.
The SAMU has increased its staff to respond to numerous requests. “The 15th currently receives an average of 2,000 calls per day, says Doctor Guy Henrion of SAMU. It is necessary to prioritize between the most serious cases, it is not only the coronavirus “. Doctor Guy Henrion assures that his “services are ready“.
Hand washing points in polling stations
Four days before the first round of municipal elections, the prefect has announced that two hand washing points will be set up at the polling stations, at the entrance and at the exit. “If certain places do not have a hand-washing point, hydro-alcoholic gels must be made available to voters at the polling stations”, adds Jacques Billant, who made the request to the mayors of the 24 municipalities of La Réunion. The prefect also asked the mayors “to reorganize the polling stations so as to limit prolonged promiscuity”. “We stress the importance of barrier gestures, they are the best bulwark against this respiratory virus, added the prefect. Avoid contact, avoid handshakes, wash your hands regularly and sneeze into your elbow. “
Ban on gatherings of more than 1000 people
The prefect of Reunion recalled the ban since Tuesday, March 10, gatherings of more than 1,000 people, following the publication of the ministerial decree. According to Jacques Billant, this is “of a barrier measure to take a step ahead in order not to undergo the sudden appearance of a significant cluster”. However, this measure does not apply to fairground markets which are organized in several separate spaces and stands. For sporting events, the start area and the finish area will be taken into account to gauge the number of participants.
Reinforcements in hospitals
During this press conference, the director of the Regional Health Agency, Martine Ladoucette, recalled that “the incubation period for the disease was from zero to twelve days”, and “85% of sufferers have developed mild forms of the disease”.
The director of the ARS claims to finance reinforcements of medical and paramedical personnel. “A medical reinforcement is put in place for city medicine, says Martine Ladoucette. Another reinforcement is in place at the level of hospital emergencies at the CHU to welcome people who will be tested. “ Fifteen people will be able to be accommodated simultaneously to be tested at Covid-19 and await their results.
The ARS announces that the first beds mobilized for infected people will be at the CHU Nord, but in case of additional needs, infected patients can be hospitalized at the GHER and at the Sainte-Clotilde clinic. Finally, the ARS states that it will be able to increase the capacity of reception in adult and pediatric resuscitation services by a quarter. Most of the patient care will be done at the home of patients in connection with city medicine.
Finally, the prefecture clarified that the departmental toll-free number was no longer relevant because the national number is available 24 hours a day with professionals trained to answer questions.