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By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. June 18, 2020: On Wednesday, one Caribbean country saw the second highest number of new cases of the novel coronavirus in the region, more than Haiti and only less than the Dominican Republic.

French Guiana has managed to keep its death toll low even though it has seen two new deaths in 24 hours, but its surprising steady uptick has French official worried. On Wednesday, the country added 133 new cases, more than the 120 added by Haiti.

The new confirmed cases moved its total to 1,554 cases to date, though its death toll remains at 5 with 78 patients in hospital – 11 patients in intensive care.

The number of cases has doubled in the last week as Guiana entered phase three of the epidemic on Monday and the local branch of the public health authorities in Guiana, ARS, has called for more staff to deal with the increasing number of patients.

Still its numbers are far lower than the 419 new cases the Dominican Republic added on Wednesday to move its tally overall to 24,105, but the French government is taking the uptick seriously.

The French parliament has put forward an amendment which would effectively extend the state of emergency due to the Covid-19 crisis until October 30th. But critics of the move warn that the state of emergency is morphing into something “which has no name” and thus remains difficult to monitor.

French Guiana has seen a rapid rise in the number of cases of coronavirus, which has led to the postponement of the second round of local elections due on June 28.

As well as Covid-19, the South American region is also dealing with an epidemic of dengue fever, spread by mosquito bites, a seasonal risk from May to November.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that much of Guiana lies on the border with Brazil, a country struggling to contain the virus.

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