Plans are in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the Dominican Republic, after the destination recorded its first case of the virus over the weekend.
According to a statement from the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism obtained by PAX, the country's Ministry of Public Health has had a prevention and contingency plan implemented since the beginning of February.
According to the statement, the infected individual (a traveller from Italy) "has received medical care and is in stable condition."
The prevention and contingency plan to address the potential risk of spreading the virus to the Dominican territory was agreed upon by the authorities of the Ministry of Public Health, together with the Ministry of Tourism (MITUR) and the authorities of ports, airports and land border crossings.
The National Commission for the Management of Coronavirus (COVID-2019) is composed of specialists from the Ministry of Public Health, the National Health Service, PAHO, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Directorate General of Epidemiology, the Dominican Society of Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Ramón de Lara of the Teaching Military Hospital.
Some of these measures include:
- The sanitary review of aircraft and ships was reinforced to continuously assess the risk and mitigate the potential for virus spread.
- Airlines must send the passenger location list and public health cards to locate visitors to the General Directorate of Epidemiology.
- Likewise, the Ministry of Public Health decided to suspend direct flights from Milan, Italy, for 30 days, as a preventive measure.
- In the case of other visitors to Italy, migration authorities should ask travellers from this country, if they have any symptoms of flu, such as fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, runny nose or others.
- Shipping agencies that organize cruise ships and tour operators should disseminate messages about the precautions that travellers leaving or entering the country should have.
- In addition, shipping agencies must also send the Maritime Declaration of Health to the Competent Health Authority (ASC) of the Ministry of Public Health at the Point of Entry and the General Directorate of Epidemiology.
- Travellers with symptoms of respiratory disease should be evaluated by the Ministry of Health staff at the port, applying the established protocol.
- Tour operators should recommend that travellers with symptoms of respiratory illnesses - before, during or after the trip - seek medical attention and share travel history with their doctor.
Strict sanitation processes are followed in any area where there could be a contact, using the latest specialized products sanitation products. Anyone who has come in contact with the infected person will also be supervised.
The Ministry of Health of the Dominican Republic has urged the population to remain calm and avoid exaggerated reactions, given that more than 80 per cent of cases of the virus are presented as mild flu processes, and patients recover.
In agreement with the embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Dominican Republic, airlines will report the entry into Dominican territory of passengers coming from the Asian country who have had a cough and / or fever during the flight while surveillance of the new coronavirus is in effect. This measure also extends to hotels to monitor people who arrive from that area and maybe in the virus incubation period.
For MITUR, the well-being and safety of visitors continue to be a priority, so it will continue to work in coordination with the other relevant authorities to continue strengthening the country's preventive measures against the expansion of the new coronavirus.
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