Coronavirus Covid-19 Bulletin #799/ 26 May 2022

The number of cases has been steadily increasing. The number of cases for Bulletin #799 is now 500, up from 324 on the day before. This number compares to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed lab-reported cases that is 220.

The Ministry of Public Health recommends people to get the third and fourth booster vaccines. The third booster is available for children from 12 years and is highly recommended now that there have been outbreaks in schools.

The fourth booster is available for those 18 years and older. The fourth booster can be applied four months after the third booster. It is recommended especially for those over 50 years of age and those with depressed immune systems.

The Pfizer vaccine is available for these boosters, but those who do not qualify to receive MRNA vaccines can get the Sinovac vaccine that is also available.

Vice President Raquel Peña, who coordinates the nation’s Health Cabinet, has said it is up to every person to take preventive measures and stay safe.

The number of positive cases and active cases has been rising steadily since the past week. HOMS in Santiago and Cedimat in Santo Domingo have reinstated Covid-19 preventive measures that had been relaxed at the large medical centers. Apparently the Covid-19 variant has been imported by Dominicans who have traveled abroad, or from visiting friends and family.

Otherwise, the Dominican Republic has reached a kind of herd immunity regarding Covid-19. That is, sufficient number of people seem to have developed immunity from catching the disease, and sufficient number of people are fully vaccinated.

New cases seem to be mild, with still record lows in hospitalizations. 64 people are hospitalized with Covid-19, and another 5 are in ICU Covid-19 units.

The number of active cases is 1,567 up from active cases in the 300s at the start of May 2022. There have been no deaths reported since the bulletin of 18 April 2022. The death rate is at 0.75%, one of the lowest in the Americas.

As per Bulletin #799, with the deadline of 26 May 2022, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 582,693 PCR or antigen-confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020.

The authorities continue to closely monitor the Covid-19 situation to promptly react to any surge in cases, now that every day less people are wearing masks indoors and restrictions have almost all been eliminated.

People can purchase a low-cost antigen test for home use and treatment of the virus at home. In case the test is positive, people are likely to seek medical treatment but the case will not be entered into the Covid-19 statistics unless the person repeats the test in an authorized lab. As reported, most cases have been mild, not meriting people requesting lab PCR tests or lab antigen tests. So far there has not been a spike in cases, nor yet a fourth wave as has occurred in the United States, Puerto Rico, Europe and Asia.

First time Covid-19 lab tests were 5,801. The number of first-time lab tests compares with the 14-day average now at 2,569.

Physicians explain that most of the cases are detected when an asymptomatic person carries out the Covid-19 test as a routine requirement for another medical procedure or for travel. There was no spike in cases due to the crowds gathering for the recent Easter vacation week. Yet, there is an increase in mild cases that could become the fourth wave. In response to this, President Luis Abinader got his fourth vaccine on 10 May 2022 and recommends other citizens to do so. President Abinader is 54 years old and is in the age group for which the fourth vaccine has been available for months.

The 24-hour positivity has been rising and is at 8.62% for the 26 May deadline, up from the previous day. The national 4-week positivity rate for the 26 May 2022 Epidemiological Bulletin #799 is at 2.91%, maintaining the recent upward trend.

The record vaccinations for one day is 184,208 on 10 June 2021. For the 26 May 2022 dateline, Our World in Data reports 2,946 first and second dose vaccines were applied. The 7-day average is 2,699.

The Vacunate government website reports injecting 7,218,571 first doses of the vaccine and 5,978,500 second doses as of 26 May 2022 in a country with an adult population of 7.8 million. For the same 26 May 2022 bulletin deadline, the Ministry of Public Health is reporting that 2,343,665 people had received the third booster shot. The fourth booster shot is also available on demand. The government has ordered all with the first two shots to get the booster shot. The government began to vaccinate for the Covid-19 virus on 16 February 2021.

By global standards, the Dominican Republic has been relatively successful at treating Covid-19 and keeping the number of deaths low. For the 26 May 2022 deadline, Worldometer lists the 1M deaths per inhabitant rate for the Dominican Republic at 396. According to the same 1M deaths statistics, fewer people have died of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic than in Brazil at 3,093, the United States at 3,080, Argentina at 2,802, Colombia at 2,694, Italy at 2,758, the United Kingdom at 2,601, Russia at 2,593, Spain at 2,268, France at 2,259, Germany 1,651 and Canada at 1,067, all major markets for Dominican tourism and countries with overall better health systems.

No Covid-related deaths was recorded for the 26 May 2022 deadline. No death was reported having occurred in the previous 24 hours of the deadline. As of the 26 May 2022 deadline, 4,376 persons are reported to have died of the disease in the Dominican Republic, a nation of more than 10.8 million adults since March 2020. The fatality rate is at 0.75%. The fatality rate per 1M inhabitants is 418.82. Dominican physicians’ diverse treatment for the disease has been relatively successful in the region. The Ministry of Public Health reports that the country’s 418.82 fatality rate per 1M compares favorably to the average 1M inhabitants’ fatality rate for the Americas at 2,639.94 as of 26 May 2022.

The past seven days bulletin result highlights are:

Bulletin # 799: 582,193 confirmed cases, 500 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 1,567 active cases. No death is reported for the deadline, none in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 418.82.

Bulletin # 798: 582,193 confirmed cases, 324 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 1,072 active cases. No death is reported for the deadline, none in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 418.82.

Bulletin # 797: 581,869 confirmed cases, 222 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 1,072 active cases. No death is reported for the deadline, none in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 418.82.

Bulletin # 796: 581,647 confirmed cases, 183 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 801 active cases. No death is reported for the deadline, none in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 418.82.

Bulletin # 795: 581,464 confirmed cases, 113 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 679 active cases. No death is reported for the deadline, none in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 418.82.

Bulletin # 794: 581,351 confirmed cases, 101 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 640 active cases. No death is reported for the deadline, none in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 418.82.

Bulletin # 793: 581,250 confirmed cases, 97 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 640 active cases. No death is reported for the deadline, none in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 418.82.

As per the 26 May deadline, the cases continue to be concentrated in Greater Santo Domingo and Santiago, the leading metropolis. There were 347 cases reported in the National District, up from 116 cases the day before. There were also 70 cases in Santo Domingo provinces and 41 cases in La Altagracia. Seven cases were reported in Santiago, and 5 in La Romana and La Vega. All other provinces report 4 or less cases.

Greater Santo Domingo leads in the number of reported PCR and antigen confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic. As of 26 May 2022 at 6pm, the deadline for Bulletin #799, the most confirmed cases have been reported in the National District (152,006) and the Santo Domingo province (119,917) that represents Greater Santo Domingo, with the country’s highest urban density. The numbers account for 50% of the 582,693 PCR and lab antigen confirmed cases nationwide.

Other province case totals are: Santiago (62,448), Puerto Plata (19,525), La Vega (18,749), La Altagracia (18,342), La Romana (17,905), Espaillat (17,882), San Cristóbal (16,693), Duarte (13,156), Valverde (11,243), San Pedro de Macoris (9,757), San Juan de la Maguana (9,507), Maria Trinidad Sánchez (7,790), Barahona (6,755), Azua (6,352), Monseñor Nouel (6,353), Hermanas Mirabal (6,041), Sánchez Ramírez (5,712), Peravia (5,331), Dajabón (5,018), Montecristi (4,995), Santiago Rodriguez (4,581), Monte Plata (4,335), Baoruco (3,488), Hato Mayor (3,467), San José de Ocoa (2,642), Independencia (2,530), El Seibo (2,069), Samaná (2,068), Pedernales (1,481) and Elías Piña (1,296) as of the 26 May 2022 deadline.

Haiti is reported having 30,781 confirmed cases and 835 deaths, as per the 26 May 2022 global epidemiological deadline. Haiti has progressed very slowly with its Covid-19 vaccination program. Early on, the Haitian government rejected a first Covax facility donation of AstraZeneca vaccines. A donation of Moderna vaccines was shipped to 26 February 2022, 183,676 Haitians (1.58% of the population) had received at least a first dose of the Spikevax (Moderna) vaccine at the 149 open vaccination centers since the start of vaccination on 16 July 2021. Early on, Haiti rejected a donation of 100,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from the Dominican Republic. 128,526 Haitians are fully vaccinated (2 doses, 1.10% of the population) as of the 19 May 2022 update, of a population of more than 11.4 million people. New cold storage capacity donated by Canada will be posted on the border and could help increase the number of Haitians that are vaccinated. The Haitians rejected the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines, but accept Pfizer and Moderna. The Pfizer vaccines that are available here for applying to the Haitians need to be kept at ultra-cold temperatures.

Already, hundreds of thousands of Haitians that live and work in the Dominican Republic have been vaccinated here. Most employers in the Dominican Republic have required their employees be vaccinated.

The Dominican government has authorized the vaccinating of Haitians with IDs and domicile in the Dominican Republic, but there is much resistance even among those living in the DR to get vaccinated.

Many ask for explanations regarding the low levels of deaths of Covid-19 in Haiti, a country with one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 vaccination in the world. Some attribute the low death toll and the low number of cases to a lack of reliable statistics. There is much truth there, but there is no hiding a surge in cases or deaths as has occurred in other countries. The reality may instead be that the generalized practice of vaccinating Haitians at birth with tuberculosis vaccine and the widespread use of Ivermectin have made the difference. Japan is another country with a very low mortality rate, also attributed to the practice of vaccinating children at birth with the tuberculosis vaccine.

Both generalized practices – tuberculosis vaccine and regular use of Ivermectin – – may be the explanation for the low death rates for Covid-19 in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, or throughout the island of Hispaniola. While not as prevalent as in Haiti, many Dominican pediatricians include the tuberculosis vaccine for babies in their list of inoculations for newborns. In border provinces, it is a regular practice. In the Dominican Republic Ivermectin was never included in the government list of treatments for Covid-19. The Dominican medical system adheres to US medical standards and big pharma has placed other treatments, many very costly, on the official list. The reality, though, is that Ivermectin since early on in 2020 became the most sought after over the counter treatment and one of the most prescribed by Dominican physicians for the virus for its availability, effectiveness and low cost.

Resolution #69

John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
University of Washington Health Data
University of Oxford Covid Tracker
Our World in Data

26 May 2022