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27 Mar 2020 | 10:24 AM UTC

Dominican Republic: Government adjusts nationwide nighttime curfew March 27 /update 3

Government adjusts nationwide nighttime curfew March 27; further spread of COVID-19 expected over the near term

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Event

On Thursday, March 26, the Dominican government announced that starting on Friday, March 27, and continuing through Friday, April 3, a nationwide curfew will be in effect from 17:00 to 06:00 (local time) each night due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The previous curfew, implemented on March 20, was from 20:00 to 06:00 each night.

President Danilo Medina previously suspended all inbound passenger air and maritime transportation, closed the country's land border with Haiti, and closed all schools and entertainment centers. Nonessential businesses have been ordered to shut down; exemptions to the shutdown order have been made for pharmacies, markets, grocery stores, and banks.

To date, there have been more than 580 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 20 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.