The Haitian government considers that the resumption of air links with the United States on Wednesday is "not a mistake" , at a time when the European Union still refuses to open its borders with the country because of the outbreak of Covid-19 cases on American soil. "It is not a mistake," said Marie-Greta Roy Clément, Haitian Minister of Health, on Tuesday. "There is the economic and the sanitary: we need to find a balance between the two to allow us to make the country work again ," she added during a government visit to Port Airport. -au-Prince.
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After more than three months of interruption of commercial air traffic, the first flight expected on the tarmac in Port-au-Prince Wednesday morning comes from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A majority of Haitians in the diaspora resides in this American state which is currently recording a strong revival of the epidemic of new coronavirus. A health protocol is planned for passengers arriving in Port-au-Prince, but its late announcement makes it impossible to apply it when the first flights arrive on Wednesday. “People who come from countries where the incidence of coronavirus is high will have to come with a negative coronavirus test. However, as it is today that we are announcing it, we have to wait a little while before applying it, ” acknowledged Ms. Roy Clément.
A thermal camera was being installed Tuesday in the arrival hall of the Toussaint Louverture airport, before the passage of passengers to the immigration service, found an AFP journalist. "We know that this is a risk but we will strengthen epidemiological surveillance and all people who return to the country from tomorrow will have to observe a home quarantine , " concluded the minister.
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Asked about this need for a negative test to present when entering Haiti, Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe wanted to be firm. "When people are in the United States, they comply with everything that is asked of them, but when they arrive in Haiti, it is a stampede. Well no! Haiti is a sovereign country and whoever the person, it must obey any decision made by the government authorities or it may not come , "he replied dryly.
With less than 6,000 positive cases and 105 deaths officially attributed to Covid-19, the low virulence of the virus in Haiti is a "happy surprise" for the medical community who feared a massacre in the country with poor hospital infrastructure.