Tuesday, January 25

To bypass the dams in Guadeloupe, drugs arrive by boat

Coping with roadblocks: at the port of the town of Pointe-Noire, a usually touristy boat brings a hundred boxes and as many bins of medicine on a rutted pontoon.

Tourist boating vessels make it possible to bypass roadblocks erected in the crisis that arose more than a week ago from the refusal of compulsory anti-Covid vaccination for nursing staff or firefighters.

And those who can snatch up their services listed on Facebook, for 50 to 100 euros per head, including funeral directors, tourists having to reach the airport or a hotel, or even pharmacies.

“We stayed several days at the start of the crisis without being delivered,” says Julie Piquion, pharmacist in the town.

In this small village of the Côte-sous-le-Vent, as in the others of Basse-Terre, a hermetic barricade was set up at the start of the mobilization which has shaken the island for 10 days.

“I manage to pass over the dam, because I know the people of the region, but for drug deliverers, it’s another story,” says the pharmacist, who brings back empty bins, deliveries of days previous ones. If a package is missing, we will have to wait until tomorrow to get it back.

“Pharmacies are just in time and have around 48 hours of stock,” explains Julien Laplanche, general manager of the Groupement Pharmaceutique de Guadeloupe, a drug purchasing cooperative, which supplies its members “twice a day in normal times”.

With road blocks and the isolation of the municipalities, many pharmacies have not been able to receive treatment for their patients.

“Our trucks do not always pass, although their cargo is sanitary. So, we wondered how we were going to be able to deliver,” says Julien Laplanche, whose company delivers more than 1,000 parcels per day. “We had the idea of ​​doing it by sea”.

Since Monday, boats have left Pointe-à-Pitre to supply pharmacies still inaccessible by road.

“The tour costs us 1,200 euros, six times more expensive than a normal delivery, but we know that our customers are delivered,” recalls Julien Laplanche. This system, a little resourceful, but very effective, will not be able to hold out for long. “We still lose a lot of money,” notes the leader.

– Change business –

“Usually I show Terre-de-Haut, in Les Saintes, but with the situation, we lose customers”, underlines Charly, the captain of the boat which transports the medicines. In their sector, everyone has reoriented their business, temporarily.

“These types of supplies are essential for the Côte-sous-le-Vent, since we are an island within an island, and we have no other solution than to be supplied by the sea”, indicates Philippe Chaulet, producer. of coffee and responsible for the local Medef, came to collect the drugs for his wife, pharmacist.

“I only saw ‘one truck in 10 days’, he said, watching the boxes piling up on the pontoon. ‘we have no infrastructure that allows us to be supplied by barge, in the event of a climatic disaster which would cut all bridges for example. “As for the outcome of the crisis, he said,” we will see “.

The tour is timed. We must leave quickly. But the captain lets away a dolphin from which a majestic fin has just emerged, before roaring its engines again.


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