Port-au-Prince | Haiti has enabled on Wednesday, the orange alert in the face of the arrival of a tropical storm and is preparing to protect its inhabitants from heavy rains and wind gusts expected on Thursday, while trying to contain the risk of contamination to the COVID-19.
“What is to fear, really, is the procession of misfortunes that can always occur when an event like this sweeping the country, but, this year, in addition to all of this is complicated by the situation that created the COVID 19 “, explained to AFP Jerry Chandler, director of the haitian civil protection.
The haitian authorities plan to open shelters in the northern half of the country, which would be the most affected by the weather, but the management of health, always delicate, of these institutions is today a major challenge.
“The strategy is mainly to prevent the shelter from becoming a source of spread for the COVID,” said Mr. Chandler.
With less than 7400 cases have tested positive and 158 deaths officially attributed to the COVID-19, the low virulence of the virus in Haiti is a “happy surprise” for the medical community, which feared a massacre in this country to hospital infrastructure gap.
Before the arrival of the storm, in the departments of the North, masks have been distributed and handwashing stations installed in schools, sports or religious that could accommodate people in difficulty.
“Our capacity is even reduced because of COVID: a shelter that should receive the 100 people can now receive 50 to 60,” says the director of the haitian civil protection.
The first effects of the storm will be felt on Thursday mid-day and the disruptions that are expected to intensify through Friday morning, are likely to cause floods and landslides.
Each year, from June to November, Haiti is under the threat of hurricanes, but heavy showers are enough to threaten the lives of the most vulnerable citizens.