The National Assembly on Tuesday evening gave the first green light to an extension, until November 15, of the state of health emergency in the vast majority of overseas territories, hard hit by the rebound of the coronavirus crisis. This extension, which makes it possible in particular to establish or maintain curfew and containment measures, concerns Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Barthélémy and Saint-Martin in the West Indies, as well as Guyana, Reunion and French Polynesia. .
New Caledonia, where strict confinement came into force on Tuesday, was added to this list by a government amendment adopted in session. Long preserved, the archipelago has just recorded several indigenous cases of Covid-19 which raise fears of an explosion of contaminations. Marking the resumption of parliamentary work after the summer break, the text examined in first reading urgently at the Palais-Bourbon was approved by 90 votes against 13 and one abstention.
France rebellious, almost the only opponent
The majority groups as well as the right and left opposition supported it broadly, only France rebellious (LFI) resolutely opposing it. The leader of the Insoumis, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, stressed that “the overseas departments are the worst medical deserts in France” and estimated that the executive is not addressing “any of the structural causes” of the health crisis. The bill and its single article will come before the Senate on Thursday morning, the government hoping to complete the parliamentary adoption process on the same day.
The extension to November 15 of the state of emergency established for most of these territories until September 30, is “justified” by “the need to maintain there an instrument of rapid and reactive response to an unpredictable virus” , said rapporteur Jean-Pierre Pont (LREM). Despite certain signs of improvement, these areas are generally characterized by a much more degraded situation than in metropolitan France, whether it is the incidence rate of the virus or the saturation of hospitals, as well as higher vaccination rates. weak.
Arrangements for Mayotte
In Guadeloupe, 68 people, including 59 patients with Covid-19, were in intensive care on Monday. In Martinique, the incidence rate, after having exceeded 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in August, currently stands at 438, against 141 in metropolitan France. In Polynesia, 33 people died from Covid-19 last weekend, bringing to 513 the total number of deaths linked to the virus in the territory of 270,000 inhabitants since the start of the epidemic.
The bill also provides that if a state of health emergency were declared in Mayotte and Wallis-and-Futuna before October 15, it would also be in force until November 15. Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon was withdrawn from this group during the meeting, the health situation not causing “concern to date” according to rapporteur Jean-Pierre Pont. Regarding Mayotte, Sébastien Lecornu, the Minister of Overseas Territories, indicated that “strong braking measures” would be announced this week by the prefect.