During a visit to French Guiana over the weekend, new French Prime Minister Jean Castex vowed to aid the territory in its coronavirus response (AP). French Guiana accounts for roughly 25% of France’s total number of coronavirus cases, despite containing 0.5% of the French population (AP). Lockdowns were recently reimposed in French Guiana, despite the status being lifted in mainland France (RFI 1). While Castex promised to assist the territory, he did not announce any specific aid programs for French Guiana (AP).
The French government recently banned air travel to its overseas territories to limit the spread of COVID-19 (RNZ). The coronavirus pandemic has exposed various inequalities in French Guiana, where 60% of the population lives below the poverty line (RFI 1). Annick Girardan, France’s minister for overseas territories, expressed fears before the parliament that the territory did not have enough medical professionals to handle the outbreak (RFI 2). The virus is expected to peak in French Guiana around mid- to late-July (RFI 2).