France delays mandate of health jabs in the Caribbean | Daily Central West


France has postponed the implementation of a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health workers in Martinique and Guadeloupe after the measure sparked numerous protests in French territories. The two Caribbean islands have been hit by unrest over the past week after the French government imposed tougher measures to curb the spread of the virus. Mandatory vaccinations for health workers, a measure already introduced in mainland France, had fueled the resentment of the predominantly black population of the islands. The French Ministry of Health said in a statement following a government crisis meeting on Friday that it had decided to postpone to December 31 “the finalization of the implementation of the vaccine mandate” in Martinique and Guadeloupe . He had put on unpaid leave of absence those who refused inoculation, but now says he will allow those who have been suspended more time for one-on-one “dialogue” with their managers while still being paid. Some on the islands called the mandate back to the era of slavery in France, insisting they should be allowed to make their own choices about health treatment. The French government meeting came as riots in Martinique continued, a source close to the French foreign minister said. “Last night was clearly more intense than the previous nights,” a local spokesperson for the French government told Reuters on Friday. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said authorities in Martinique and Guadeloupe made 10 arrests after shots were fired Thursday evening, injuring several people. French television journalists, news agencies and photo agencies were attacked Thursday evening, the Altice press group said in a statement, confirming earlier comments by the minister. A policeman was seriously injured and required surgery, local authorities said. Prosecutors said masked protesters also attempted to set fire to the gate of the official residence of the prefect, the highest representative of the French central state there, but that no significant damage was caused. In Guadeloupe, where protests began last week, there is a historic mistrust of the government’s handling of health crises after many people were systematically exposed to toxic pesticides used in banana plantations in the 1970s. . Associated Australian Press

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