DR1 Daily News - Tuesday, 24 March 2020

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May 3, 2000
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Telecom companies banned from cutting service for delays in payment, colmados banned from selling alcohol
Presidency bans firing government employees, authorizes circulation of essential good and service suppliers
Decree 136-20 bans unilateral isolation of coronavirus-free towns
Most Dominican government offices shut down for Covid-19
DGII postpones tax payment delays
Santiago mayor closes city produce market
And the last tourist, please turn off the lights
Haitians return home, many are out of work
First patients recovered from Covid-19 infection discharged from DR
Coronavirus: Peggy Cabral tested positive for Covid-19
José Hazim of San Pedro tests positive for Covid-19
Dominican Catholic Church: Bishop tests positive for Covid-19
Panic sends thousands to stores, banks and markets
Mutiny at the Dajabón police jail
Hector Balcácer, the infectologist who should have known better
El Seibo and Ocoa closes their roads to avoid entry of persons with Covid-19, President bans the measure, controls applied in Elías Piña
Banks now open only from 8:30 to 12:30 pm, many branches close
JCE announces closing of civil registry offices
José Paliza of the PRM: "Right now our focus is on the crisis generated by the coronavirus"
Gonzalo Castillo offers to donate RD$20 million of assigned campaign money to help with medical expenses of Covid-19
Venezuelans and Colombians hired at high cost to attract fans to Gonzalo campaign
Merengue, bachata, salsa and urban music singers announce concerts



Telecom companies banned from cutting service for delays in payment, colmados banned from selling alcohol
The Medina government issued Decree 136-20 banning telecom companies from cutting their customers off for arrears in payments or from applying late charges. In the same decree issued on Monday, 23 March 2020 in the evening, the government also banned social gatherings and the consumption of alcoholic beverages in neighborhood shops, or “colmados.” The stores have been allowed to stay open to sell food and other essential items for home consumption.

"We insist, this is not a vacation; the population must remain in their homes,” said Presidency Minister Gustavo Montalvo who is the coordinator of the High Commission for the Prevention of Coronavirus.

The new measures were announced on Monday evening.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias...clara-no-esta-permitido-aislar-municipios-del


Presidency bans firing government employees, authorizes circulation of essential good and service suppliers
On Monday, 23 March 2020, the Medina administration announced that the Ministry of Public Administration has issued a resolution suspending deadlines for administrative proceedings and prohibiting the firing of public workers, unless there are proven criminal cases.

On Monday, the Medina administration issued Decree 135-20 that authorizes the circulation of people and vehicles related to energy, water and telecom, seaport and airport services, as well as food distribution and the media.

The new measures were announced on Monday evening by Presidency Minister Gustavo Montalvo, who is the coordinator of the High Commission for the Prevention and Control of the Coronavirus.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias...clara-no-esta-permitido-aislar-municipios-del


Decree 136-20 bans unilateral isolation of coronavirus-free towns
The High Commission for the Prevention of Coronavirus announced that Decree 136-20 outlaws actions being taken by provincial governors and city mayors to restrict entrance to their coronavirus-free provinces and cities. Montalvo was emphatic in stating that such unilateral, uninformed and disorganized measures "do not help, are not necessary and will not be allowed". He added that the circulation of essential vehicles is very important for the transportation of food, health care, and emergency services.

On Monday, the government announced that the Ministry of Public Administration issued a resolution suspending deadlines for administrative proceedings and prohibited the firing of public workers, unless there are proven criminal cases.

On Monday, the Medina administration issued Decree 135-20 that authorizes the circulation of people and vehicles related to energy, water and telecom, seaport and airport services, as well as food distribution and the media.

The new measures were announced on Monday evening by Presidency Minister Gustavo Montalvo, who is the coordinator of the High Commission for the Prevention and Control of the Coronavirus.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias...clara-no-esta-permitido-aislar-municipios-del


Most Dominican government offices shut down for Covid-19
The High Commission for the Prevention of Coronavirus announced the shutdown of two ministries and 57 agencies and departments. The actions are part of containment efforts. Other ministries are ordered to work with only half of their staff. Over 100 government entities are operating at the minimum.

https://listindiario.com/la-republi...s-y-otras-57-instituciones-por-el-coronavirus


DGII postpones tax payment delays
The Tax Agency (DGII) announced the postponement of tax declarations from 30 March to 30 April. The entity also announced the shutdown of several of its offices nationwide. The measures are taken to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

https://dgii.gov.do/noticias/Pagina...y-mas-acciones-preventivas-ante-COVID-19.aspx
https://hoy.com.do/2050210-2/
https://listindiario.com/economia/2...rnos-otorga-prorroga-para-hacer-declaraciones


Santiago mayor closes city produce market
The Mercado Hospedaje Yaque in Santiago is closed, announced Mayor Abel Martínez. He said the measure seeks to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The city government issued a statement explaining that at the Hospedaje Yaque, vendors of fruits, vegetables, groceries, and legumes do not meet the minimum conditions to guarantee the health of the population. Despite municipal brigades carrying out their daily cleaning tasks in the area, Martínez says minimum hygiene standards are not kept. He criticized vendors continue to throw waste into the street and sell produce on the pavement.

Martínez says the measure will be in effect for the next 15 days. Brigades from the city government, assisted by members of the National Police and the Municipal Police, dismantled the shacks.

Mayor Martínez says that the health of the population is above any particular or commercial interest. He said vendors need to adhere to the organization and hygiene regime at the market.

The city government also announced the closing of the La Placita produce market, also in Santiago city.

https://z101digital.com/alcaldia-sa...aque-medida-busca-garantizar-salud-poblacion/
https://www.elcaribe.com.do/2020/03/23/cierran-mercados-de-santiago-ante-propagacion-coronavirus/


And the last tourist, please turn off the lights
Around 600 hotels accounting for around 80,000 hotel rooms have closed after the government closed land, air and sea ports to limit the entry of persons with Covid-19. The pandemic is global, but the effects in the Dominican Republic are especially hard given millions depend on the hospitality industry for their livelihood. Paola Rainieri, president of of the hotel and tourism association Asonahores, confirmed that operations have ceased at the hotels. She said all tourists will have left the country in the next 72 hours. Evacuation airplanes have been sent in to airlift the last remaining hotel guests.

Rainieri explained that just out of the Punta Cana International Airport some 30,000 tourists have been evacuated in specially arranged flights.

"We must understand the economic impact this pandemic will have on the sector, which is why we are asking for balanced measures for future operations,” she said. She said around 330,000 Dominicans are employed in the tourism sector, or around 7% of those employed nationwide.

She said the sector is optimistic, depending how the events evolve, that the hotels may reopen in 60 to 90 days. "That does not mean that tourism will return to the levels it was before," he said.

She estimated recovery will take a year and a half. She stressed that the tourism sector has always been resilient, so it will once again recover as it has on previous occasions.

Likewise, in a statement, Asonahores expressed that in the face of this calamity that the world and the Dominican Republic are experiencing, its hotels and related companies have made every effort to try to reassign work to affect the least amount of workers possible.

"At present, we are working tirelessly hand-in-hand with the government, seeking the most viable solution and the protection of the families who make a living in our sector," they explained.

https://listindiario.com/economia/2...el-pais-cerraran-por-la-falta-de-operatividad


Haitians return home, many are out of work
Reports are that at least a thousand Haitians have returned to Haiti. Many of these are believed to have been suspended or lost their jobs in the tourism industry, or in other businesses that closed in prevention of the coronavirus in the Dominican Republic. As of 22 March 2020 there were five cases of coronavirus reported in Haiti, compared to 202 in the Dominican Republic.

The opening of the border with Haiti happens at a time when the government has also allowed the departure of thousands of tourists by air, despite the closing of land, air and sea ports on Friday, 20 March 2020.

https://listindiario.com/la-republi...ndona-republica-dominicana-por-el-coronavirus


First patients recovered from Covid-19 infection discharged from DR
The Ministry of Public Health announced the discharge of the country’s first three recovered Covid-19 patients. These are 12-year old and his father and a 29-year old woman. These received care at the Air Force’s Ramón de Lara Hospital.

http://coronavirusrd.gob.do/2020/03...as-libres-de-coronavirus-seran-dadas-de-alta/
https://n.com.do/2020/03/23/dan-de-alta-a-primeros-pacientes-curados-del-covid-19-en-rd/
https://listindiario.com/la-republi...-de-recuperacion-ante-el-coronavirus-covid-19
https://acento.com.do/2020/actualid...-primeros-curados-de-covid19-en-r-dominicana/


Coronavirus: Peggy Cabral tested positive for Covid-19
Deputy Foreign Minister Peggy Cabral tested positive for Covid-19. Her boss, Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas, has also tested positive earlier. A son of Vargas had tested positive earlier after attending a extravagant wedding in the east where several persons caught the disease. Health Minister Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas had identified the wedding as one of the main sources of the local transmission of the virus. Cabral is deputy minister for bilateral foreign policy at the Ministry. She announced on Twitter that she will strictly comply with her quarantine and urged all Dominicans to follow established health protocols. She said as of Monday she was not showing symptoms.

"With God we will move forward," concluded Peggy Cabral.

https://hoy.com.do/coronavirus-peggy-cabral-dio-positivo-al-covid-19/


José Hazim of San Pedro tests positive for Covid-19
The senator for San Pedro de Macorís, Jose Hazim Frappier, has tested positive for Covid-19. Somos Pueblo online news service reports that just five days ago, he had downplayed the virus, saying: “The coronavirus does not exist in this country.”

Hazim is a medical doctor who owns the Universidad Central del Este (UCE). He is being treated at home. It is probable that he caught the virus when attending a fundraising dinner held in San Pedro last week for the rebuilding the central park in that municipality. San Pedro now has a cluster of cases.

At the same dinner were many Catholic Church representatives and 88-year old Kalil Haché, who had to be admitted on 16 March to the Ramon de Lara Hospital for Covid-19 treatment.

There are reports that there are 11 confirmed cases of people attending the fundraiser and more than a 100 persons under observation.

The Ministry of Public Health has said that this dinner, the 14 March wedding in Punta Cana and Dominicans returning from the Costa Favolosa cruise are responsible for the spreading of the most cases.

https://somospueblo.com/josesito-ha...-coronavirus-son-vainas-que-no-existen-en-rd/
https://somospueblo.com/infectologo...-queda-de-24-horas-para-contener-el-covid-19/


Dominican Catholic Church: Bishop tests positive for Covid-19
The Dominican Episcopal Conference (CED) confirmed that Monsignor Fausto Ramón Mejía Vallejo, bishop of the diocese of San Francisco de Macorís, has tested positive for the coronavirus. In a statement, the Roman Catholic Church in the Dominican Republic said that Mejía Vallejo’s health was stable. The church urged that all Dominicans take preventive measures and stay at home.

San Francisco de Macorís is the capital of the province of Duarte, where the first case of local transmission was reported.

https://hoy.com.do/episcopado-dominicano-lo-mas-reciente-sobre-el-obispo-dio-positivo-al-covid-19/


Panic sends thousands to stores, banks and markets
Media reports on the agglomeration of thousands of persons in produce markets, supermarkets and bank offices as these have begun to limit their opening hours.

The Association of Commercial Banks announced that as of Monday, that select branches would only be open from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Bank ATMs would continue to operate as well as electronic banking services.

Supermarkets have been announcing new schedules. On Tuesday, 24 March, Bravo supermarkets announced they would open from 7am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.

The media carried reports of agglomerations of persons to receive a small bag of rice, corn, sardines and beans from the Social Plan of the Presidency.

On Monday, 23 March 2020, the government banned the sale of alcohol in colmados. The High Commission ruled that these colmados are only authorized to sell items that are for home consumption.

https://eldia.com.do/ciudadanos-ignoran-llamado-de-no-aglomerarse-y-abarrotan-comercios/
https://www.diariolibre.com/actuali...las-fundas-que-entrega-el-gobierno-FG17882272
https://www.diariolibre.com/actuali...-el-consumo-de-bebidas-alcoholicas-CG17886884
https://www.diariolibre.com/economi...-gratis-para-evitar-aglomeraciones-JJ17874379


Mutiny at the Dajabón police jail
Reports are that at least 11 prisoners held at the police detachment in northwestern Dajabón were transferred to health centers after a mutiny in which fire was set to the premises. The prisoners were awaiting coercive measures. Courts have closed due to the Covid-19 virus, affecting the cases of these. El Caribe reports that around 30 prisoners that were at the detachment were taken to the Matías Ramón Mella Hospital in Dajabón on Monday, 23 March 2020.

As part of the protest by the prisoners, fire was set to mattresses, sheets and clothes to draw the attention of the authorities. As of 23 March 2020, there were not yet cases of coronavirus in Dajabón.

https://www.elcaribe.com.do/2020/03...el-de-la-pn-en-dajabon-11-resultan-afectados/


Hector Balcácer, the infectologist who should have known better
The case of infectologist Hector Balcácer, who had made the rounds of several radio and TV talk shows to share valuable information to prevent the spreading of coronavirus in the country, has been trending. The physician appeared on half a dozen shows. Then on last TV show he is asked by one of the hosts whether he has the virus, and he nervously says he would be tested that day. The doctor tested positive and that evening alerted those he had been near.

TV and radio stations where he had appeared were shut down and sanitized.

Many TV shows are now being carried out with people broadcasting from their homes.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G_3eM7tfoU8 - Edith Febles


El Seibo and Ocoa closes their roads to avoid entry of persons with Covid-19, President bans the measure, controls applied in Elías Piña
Can it be done? Legally, probably not unless ordered by the High Commission for the Prevention of Coronavirus under the State of Emergency act.

The governor of El Seibo wants to keep El Seibo free of Covid-19. On Monday evening, 23 March 2020, the Medina administration issued Decree 136-20 banning the isolation actions.

Provincial governor Gerardo Casanova had said that the city would adhere to the government curfew of shutdown from 8pm to 6am, but has plans to take it a step further.

"El Seibo is one of the places in the country where there are not yet any coronavirus cases, so it is necessary to protect the population," explained Casanova.

The governor of San Jose de Ocoa hopes to be able to enforce a similar disposition for his own province. As of Monday, 23 March 2020 there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the province of San Jose de Ocoa. Governor Abraham Martinez authorized the partial closure of the entrance and exit to this province, in response to a request by the population.

Already the mayor of San José de Ocoa, Aneudy Ortiz Sajiun, had requested that President Danilo Medina authorize taking the actions to prevent the spreading of the disease in Ocoa.

Pedernales and Elías Piña authorities had also expressed interest in isolating their population. On Monday, 23 March, nevertheless, the military was restricting the entrance to Elías Piña on the border with Haiti to Dominicans and foreigners to the municipality. The measure was being enforced by municipal public health and military authorities.

The commander of the third brigade of the Dominican Republic Army -ERD-, with seat in San Juan de la Maguana, Ramón Belén Pichardo (Monchy), confirmed the measure, while warning that all the checkpoints the military have precise instructions to detour any vehicle en route to this municipality.
Colonel Ramón Belén Pichardo said that agglomeration of Haitians and Dominicans in the local public market are now being controlled. He said small businesses are allowed to sell food items for restricted periods of time.

As of Sunday, 22 March 2020, the Ministry of Public Health had reported there were cases tested positive in 20 of 31 provinces and the National District. The total of cases as of Sunday was 245.

These are the provinces where cases of coronavirus have occurred: National District, 108; Azua, 2; Barahona, 1; Duarte, 17; Espaillat (Moca), 1; La Altagracia (Higuey and Punta Cana), 7; La Romana, 6; La Vega, 7; María Trinidad Sánchez (Nagua), 2 and Puerto Plata, 3. Also, Hermanas Mirabal (Salcedo), 3; Samaná, 4; San Cristóbal, 1; San Juan, 2; San Pedro de Macorís, 7; Sánchez Ramírez (Cotuí), 1; Santiago, 30; Valverde, 1; Monsignor Nouel (Bonao), 3 and Santo Domingo 39.

The director of the National Health System (SNS), Chanel Chupani Rosa criticized the attitude by the governor saying that the closing of entry rodes is an obstacle to government efforts to help the people in the province.

https://listindiario.com/la-republi...a-que-no-le-entre-el-virus-que-azota-al-mundo
https://listindiario.com/la-republi...ovincias-que-han-registrado-coronavirus-en-rd
https://hoy.com.do/gobierno-prohibe-suspendan-servicios-telecomunicaciones/

https://listindiario.com/la-republica/2020/03/24/610086/mas-pueblos-quieren-cerrar-por-el-covid-19
https://hoy.com.do/2050282-2/


Banks now open only from 8:30 to 12:30 pm, many branches close
The Dominican Commercial Bank Association (ABA) announced that as of Monday, 23 March 2020, affiliates will be keeping banking hours of 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. Previously ABA had announced a schedule of 8:30 am to 3 pm. The banks will be closed on Saturday and Sunday. ATM machines and digital banking services will continue to be offered.

Meanwhile, Scotiabank announced the temporary shutdown of its branches at Ágora Mall, Sambil, Naco, Independencia, Isabel Aguiar, Bravo Churchill, Bravo Colombia, Bravo Cacicazgos, Bravo Esperilla, Bravo Prolongación 27 de Febrero and Bravo Las Américas. In Santiago: La Fuente, Bravo Santiago and Jardines Metropolitanos. It also announced it is shutting down its offices in Bávaro, Marina Casa de Campo and Cabarete, Puerto Plata.

Banco del Progreso is closing operations at Ágora Mall, Blue Mall, Novocentro, Plaza Central, Sambil, Herrera, Ozama and Independencia. In Santiago: CCN Paseo, La Fuente, Las Colinas and El Embrujo. Also branches in Sosúa, Rio San Juan, Puerto Plata 27 de Febrero, Blue Mall Punta Cana and Marina Chavón.

https://www.elcaribe.com.do/2020/03...es-y-9-agencias-por-prevencion-ante-covid-19/


JCE announces closing of civil registry offices
The Central Electoral Board (JCE) announced on Sunday, 22 March 2020 that, due to the preventive measures regarding Covid-19, all services related to the Civil Registry and ID cards are suspended in all its offices, for a period of 15 calendar days. The JCE says there will not be fines for those who do not register births in the required 30-day period.

https://www.elcaribe.com.do/2020/03...il-y-cedulacion-durante-15-dias-por-covid-19/


José Paliza of the PRM: "Right now our focus is on the crisis generated by the coronavirus"
The president of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), Puerto Plata senator José Ignacio Paliza, said that the party leadership and its presidential candidate, Luis Abinader, are fully focused on collaborating and attending to the health crisis. He said: “First things first.”

"We understand that it is time for the government to adopt strong measures with the purpose of controlling or at least reducing the transmission of this virus, and to implement the necessary measures so that the economic impact is less devastating," he said. He made the observations when consulted on whether the 17 May 2020 presidential and congressional election should be postponed.

"At this moment our focus is on the crisis generated by the coronavirus. We are of the opinion that the May 17 elections are still 50 days away, so we consider it appropriate that we concentrate all our efforts today on containing Covid-19, which requires more drastic measures," said Paliza.

He said the party is proposing that the Central Electoral Board (JCE )and other public entities implement preventive protocols for the personnel that works there, as well as the eventual voters, because the experiences of other countries indicate that it takes time to totally eradicate the virus.

The JCE has not announced the suspension of the 17 May elections and continues with preparations for it.

https://z101digital.com/jose-paliza...sta-en-la-crisis-generada-por-el-coronavirus/
https://hoy.com.do/jose-ignacio-pal...detener-al-covid-19-lo-primero-es-lo-primero/


Gonzalo Castillo offers to donate RD$20 million of assigned campaign money to help with medical expenses of Covid-19
Ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) presidential candidate Gonzalo Castillo announced RD$20 million of his campaign money will be allotted to cover the cost of Covid-19 tests, to purchase masks, gloves and medical equipment needed. He announced the essential items will be donated to several entities, including the Cruz Jiminián clinic in Santo Domingo.

Castillo continues to spend millions on online propaganda.

https://www.elcaribe.com.do/2020/03...ar-rd-20-millones-de-los-recursos-de-campana/
https://z101digital.com/gonzalo-don...upuesto-de-campana-para-combatir-coronavirus/


Venezuelans and Colombians hired at high cost to attract fans to Gonzalo campaign
Investigative journalist Nuria Piera reports that the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) presidential campaign has hired around 60 Venezuelan and Colombian women to serve as sort of cheerleaders for presidential candidate Gonzalo Castillo. In a report aired on Saturday, 21 March and Monday, 23 March, the journalist presented evidence that the women would receive RD$3,500 when the event is in the capital city and RD$4,500 per event when it is in the interior. Piera said the women were being passed off as locals from Santiago, but this is not so, she said. She said they were hired by the “Tornado” political movement, under Alexis Medina, brother of President Danilo Medina. The women had accompanied Castillo on his campaign tours around the country.

Piera showed a video with a discussion between Jhonny Brea, described as a friend of Medina, and the girls’ manager, who requested RD$50,000 for the services of the women, the casting and the handling of the women. He said the RD$1,600 per day he was being offered was not enough, and demanding RD$6,000 per day.

The Presidency announced the halt of all campaign activities that require congregating people.

https://n.com.do/2020/03/23/pld-con...ara-atraer-publico-en-actividades-de-gonzalo/


Merengue, bachata, salsa and urban music singers announce concerts
Watch for the notices of times for the transmitting of concerts by Dominican artists in quarantine. Already several are announcing performances from 25 to 29 March to keep the Dominican people entertained. Among these are: Bocatabú, Covi Quinta,a Daniel Santacruz, Duho, Eddy Herrera, Gabriel Pagán, Gaby de los Santos, Gran Poder de Diosa, Janio Lora, Javi Grullón, La Marimba, Laura Rivera, Letón Pe, Luitomá, Mark B. Nathalie Hazim, Nikola Santiago, Pamel, Rando Camasta, Ricie Oriach, Solo Fernández, Techy Fatule, Tueska and Vic Contreras.
Check out #Tamoencasa on Instagram.
https://listindiario.com/entretenim.../tamoencasa-reunira-a-20-artistas-dominicanos