French Polynesia, had until now been spared by the epidemic, has experienced a sudden increase in the number of positive cases Covid-19 in three daysadmitted by press release the presidency of the community, Monday, August 10.
43 new cases were recorded since Saturday and a long queue stretched on Monday to Papeete in front of the Institut Louis Malardé, which carries out the tests and their analysis. Polynesia had been little affected so far by the coronavirus, with sixty cases between march and July. This overseas collectivity has elsewhere deplored no deaths related to this virus.
The announcement of the first cases in march, Polynesia, had taken prompt measures of protection : containment and the closure of the airline for several months, and a curfew for several weeks.
No restrictions announced, but increased vigilance
But the local economy depends on tourism, and the government has chosen to reopen their lines to european and american markets in mid-July, without imposing quarantine. All passengers must however submit a negative test prior to boarding, and perform auto-sampling four days after their arrival.
The virus has been reintroduced by tourists, but also by officials : each year, a portion of the teachers and the gendarmes are replaced by new arrivals. The clusters are restaurants which have been organized festive eveningsbut several cases have also been detected among the nursing staff of the hospital center of French Polynesia.
Tahiti, the island is the most inhabited, is the most affected, but there are also cases in Bora Bora, Moorea and Rangiroa. According to the presidency, among the 50 cases detected in the last few weeks, “10 have been contaminated abroad, and 38 cases were contaminated locally”. For the other two positive cases, “no epidemiological link” could not be detected.
The back-to-school must take place this week in French Polynesia. The local government has not announced restrictions on rallies for the moment. However, some sports federations, such as rugby, have already suspended their workouts and their competitions.