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“There is a climate of panic”, Haiti is preparing to face the coronavirus despite the lack of means

A few cases of Covid-19 have been detected in Haiti. A series of measures have already been taken to prevent the virus from spreading, but in this particularly poor country, the lack of resources makes people fear the worst.

The state of health emergency is decreed in Haiti. The Caribbean country currently has only a handful of cases of Covid-19 but with only a few intensive care beds for eleven million inhabitants, the authorities are very worried. Between a lasting political crisis and the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, Haiti is a country that is both fragile and poor with 60% of the population living day to day.

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President Jovenel Moïse called for calm this week but the fear is there. “There is a climate of panic, entrusts Louis Naud Pierre, teacher and researcher in Port-au-Prince. The population is exposed to all images that come from all over the world, especially images of people who are in the hospital and who are suffering or dead.

The response to this fear varies among community groups. “There are the religious who rely on prayer. Others in the laws, everyone seeks protection that he does not find at the level of the organization of society”, relates Louis Naud Pierre.

Even the authorities are aware that they cannot really interveneLouis Naud Pierre

The State's lack of resources makes it both impossible to apply a curfew and to distribute aid and aid in a country where care is lacking. “Either people will die from coronavirus, or they will starve”, dreads Louis Naud Pierre.

The UN coordinator in Haiti, Bruno Lemarquis, also notes the country's lack of preparation for Covid-19. “Haiti is in dire need of protective equipment, specialized medical equipment. The authorities are still in the process of identifying the places where care can be taken. There is a lot of work that remains to be done so that the country can be ready “, Explain Bruno Lemarquis.

Haiti is preparing for the coronavirus, report by Nathanaël Charbonnier

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