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02 Apr 2020 | 09:12 PM UTC

Dominican Republic: Curfew extended for 15 days from April 3 /update 4

Dominican Republic extends curfew for 15 days from April 3 to prevent further spread of coronavirus; follow all government directives

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Event

President Danilo Medina approved extending the current curfew for another 15 days from Friday, April 3, to prevent further spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Dominican Republic. The curfew is in effect from 17:00 until 06:00 (local time) and police officers have been deployed to enforce the measure. According to police officials, over 22,000 people have been detained for violating the order as of Thursday, April 2. A state of emergency is in effect until Monday, April 13, but President Medina has reportedly asked Congress to approve an extension.

Other containment measures remain in place as of April 2. All inbound passenger air and maritime transportation is suspended and country's land border with Haiti is closed. All schools and entertainment centers are also shut. Nonessential businesses have been ordered to close; exemptions to the shutdown order have been made for pharmacies, markets, grocery stores, and banks.

As of April 2, 1380 cases of COVID-19 and 60 associated fatalities have been confirmed in the country. 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.