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Coronavirus Covid-19 Bulletin #349/ 2 March 2021

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #349 reports 572 new PCR cases for the Monday, 2 March 2021 deadline. The cases compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 555. For 13 consecutive days, the number of PCR reported cases has kept under 1,000.

The number of PCR-confirmed cases is at 240,773 as of the 2 March bulletin. Labs carried out 3,964 first PCR tests. The number of tests compares with the 14-day average now at 4,472. The country can process 14,000 PCR tests a day.

Private labs have special facilities for those requiring results in time for travel abroad. Results of PCR tests can be had in 24 hours for those presenting a valid airline ticket at Referencia Lab branches in Santo Domingo, Santiago, Puerto Plata, La Romana and Punta Cana. Antigen tests results can be had in three hours at Referencia and Amadita labs in the same locations. Nevertheless, travelers are recommended to make arrangements with extra time.

Canada and Spain are requiring all entering that country to show negative results of a PCR test carried out within 72 hours before the traveler’s scheduled departure to those countries. The US requires travelers show negative antigen or PCR test results taken within 72 hours of the arrival to US territory.

The 4-week positivity rate is 12.37%, down from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 14.43%, down from the previous day. The number of reported active cases continues to decline and is now at 44,210 down (-222) from the previous 24 hours. Reported active cases in the Dominican Republic have been declining for the past 27 bulletins.

Twelve Covid-related new deaths are recorded for the Tuesday, 2 March 2021 deadline, two occurring in the previous 24 hours of the deadline. The Ministry of Public Health says the large number of total reported deaths are due to general delays in the hospitals’ paperwork. The authorities register 3,130 Covid-19-related deaths since March 2020.

The government will continue the same preventive measures in place that have shown to be effective in slowing the pace of the spread of the virus. Decree 133-21 establishes that from 3 to 17 March 2021, the curfew will be from 9pm (up from 7pm) to 5am. There is a three-hour free transit window on Monday to Friday (to 12am – midnight, up from 10pm), regardless of whether the day falls on a holiday. The decree establishes that on Saturdays 6 March and 13 March and Sundays 7 and 14 March 2021, the curfew starts at 7pm with a three-hour commute period (until 10pm).

Open-air public spaces, such as parks and boulevards, can be used for activities other than social gatherings and always complying with preventive health protocols. Gyms, restaurants and bars are allowed to reopen to 60% of their capacity. A maximum of six persons per table is allowed, among other health protocols. Religious ceremonies are allowed three days a week, as long as they keep within 60% of the capacity of the church and churchgoers must keep their masks on during the service. Theaters have resumed showings under health protocols. Schools continued closed for in-person learning.

Hotels and resorts continue to operate under previously established less restrictive health protocols.

The government began to vaccinate for the Covid-19 virus on 16 February 2021. The first phase of vaccinations covered the around 12,000 front line staff at clinics and hospitals that see Covid-19 patients. Two first batches of 20,000 and 30,000 doses of Covishield arrived from the India Oxford-AstraZeneca manufacturing plant since 15 February 2021. The next shipment was one of 768,000 doses of Sinovac/Coronavac vaccine that arrived on 23 February 2021 from China for the continuing of the National Vaccination Plan. The government expects to receive an additional batch of 90,000 India Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines this month, and 4-8 million doses of China-Sinopharm vaccines in April-June.

The government has vaccinated Covid-19 front line workers and thousands of the country’s medical staff. It is now focused on vaccinated pre-school and elementary school teachers as well as those 70+ years of age, with exceptions made in the cases of persons of 60+ with comorbidities.

The Ministry of Public Health continues to mandate keeping to the preventive measures of mask-wearing and physical distancing in public spaces and hand hygiene. In the cities, mask-wearing is the norm and is mandatory. Mask-wearing is relaxed in beach properties.

The Dominican Republic continues under a National State of Emergency. The Presidency enacted Decree 95-21 that extends the National State of Emergency for another 45-day period from 2 March to 15 April 2021.

By regional standards, the Dominican Republic has been relatively successful at treating Covid-19 and keeping the number of deaths low. For the 2 March 2021 deadline, Worldometer lists the 1M deaths per inhabitant rate for the Dominican Republic at 287. According to the same 1M deaths statistics, fewer people have died of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic than in the United Kingdom at 1,810, Italy at 1,633, the United States at 1,593, Spain at 1,493, France at 1,334, Brazil at 1,206, Colombia at 1,170, Argentina at 1,148, Germany 851, Russia at 598 and Canada at 581, all major markets for Dominican tourism and countries with overall better health systems.

As per Bulletin #349 with the deadline of 2 March 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 240,773 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Partial curfew has been in place since 18 March 2020.

The number of deaths continues relatively low. As of the 2 March 2021 deadline, 3,130 persons are reported to have died of the disease in the Dominican Republic, a nation of more than 10.9 million people. The fatality rate is 1.30%. The fatality rate per 1M inhabitants is 299.56. Dominican physicians’ diverse treatment for the disease has been relatively successful in the region. The Ministry of Public Health reports that the country’s 299.56 fatality rate per 1M compares favorably to the average 1M inhabitants’ fatality rate for the Americas at 1,171.75.

The Ministry of Public Health report #349 indicates 20% of Covid-19 hospital beds are occupied (540 of 2,670 total available), down from the previous day. 36% of the intensive care units for Covid-19 are taken (199 of 550 beds), down from the previous day. The hospitalization statistics are for all the country. Hospitalization demand in Greater Santo Domingo, Santiago and other major cities is much higher than the national average.

The past seven days bulletin results are:

Bulletin #349: 240,773 confirmed cases, 572 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 44,210 active cases, 12 deaths are reported for the deadline, and two reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate is 1.30%, fatality rate per 1M is 299.56.

Bulletin #348: 240,201 confirmed cases, 203 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 44,432 active cases, 12 deaths are reported for the deadline, and five reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate is 1.30%, fatality rate per 1M is 298.42.

Bulletin #347: 239,998 confirmed cases, 381 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 44,814 active cases, 6 deaths are reported for the deadline, and three reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate is 1.29%, fatality rate per 1M is 297.27.

Bulletin #346: 239,617 confirmed cases, 608 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 45,179 active cases, 7 deaths are reported for the deadline, and two reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate is 1.29%, fatality rate per 1M is 296.69.

Bulletin #345: 239,009 confirmed cases, 804 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 45,621 active cases, 11 deaths are reported for the deadline, and six reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate is 1.29%, fatality rate per 1M is 296.02.

Bulletin #344: 238,205 confirmed cases, 576 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 45,960 active cases, 7 deaths are reported for the deadline, and two reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate is 1.29%, fatality rate per 1M is 294.97.

Bulletin #343: 237,629 confirmed cases, 746 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 46,254 active cases, 9 deaths are reported for the deadline, and two reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate is 1.29%, fatality rate per 1M is 294.30.

Greater Santo Domingo continues to lead in the number of reported PCR cases. As of 2 March 2021 at 6pm, the deadline for Bulletin #349, the most confirmed cases have been reported in the National District (68,484) and the Santo Domingo province (47,541). The numbers account for around 50% of the 240,773 confirmed cases nationwide.

Other provinces with more than 500 cases are: Santiago (27,012), La Vega (9,834), La Altagracia (8,935), Puerto Plata (7,491), La Romana (7,250), San Cristóbal (7,138), Duarte (6,290), Espaillat (5,062), San Juan de la Maguana (3,570), Monseñor Nouel (3,412), San Pedro de Macoris (3,182), Sánchez Ramírez (3,064), Maria Trinidad Sánchez (3,027), Azua (2,894), Barahona (2,599), Valverde (2,400), Hermanas Mirabal (2,265), Peravia (1,980), Baoruco (1,338), Monte Plata (1,162), Santiago Rodriguez (1,107), Montecristi (1,077), Dajabón (991), Independencia (957), El Seibo (870), Samaná (869), San José de Ocoa (794), Hato Mayor (765), Pedernales (626) and Elías Piña province, on the border with Haiti, is the only province to register less than 500 cases. Elías Piña reports 402 cases as of the 2 March 2021 deadline.

The Ministry indicates that the newest allocated cases (more than 9) reported for 2 March 2021 update deadline are: National District (202), Santo Domingo (191), La Romana (26), La Altagracia (23), San Cristóbal (21), Santiago (19), La Vega (19), San Pedro de Macorís (13) and Dajabón (11).

Haiti reports 12,531 confirmed cases and 250 deaths, for the 2 March 2021 deadline. Experts attribute the low number of deaths in Haiti in part due to extensive vaccinating of babies with the tuberculosis vaccine and widespread use of ivermectin for parasites that have raised the immunity of the population. Recent increases in political protests in Haiti seem to be behind the slight rise in Covid-19 cases.

In the Americas, the Dominican Republic is now ranked 11th in confirmed cases after the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Canada, Panama and Ecuador.

Read more:
Decree 95-21
Decree 133-21
VacunateRD

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John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
University of Washington Health Data
University of Oxford Covid Tracker
Worldometer
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3 March 2021