Coronavirus Covid-19 Bulletin #385/ 7 April 2021

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #385 reports 1,094 new PCR cases for the Wednesday, 7 April 2021 deadline. This is the first-time cases are over 1,000 since the 336 bulletin or 48 days. The cases compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 405.

As per Bulletin #385 with the deadline of 6 April 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 254,937 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 11,116 first PCR tests, a new record. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,246. The government processed 14,749 tests in time for the 7 April bulletin. This is a new record.

The 4-week positivity rate is 9.98%, slightly up from the previous day, despite the record number of tests. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 9.84%, significantly down from the last day. A severe cold has been affecting people attributed to the chilly weather and this has increased the demand for PCR tests.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 37,248, up (+704) from the previous 24 hours. The active cases are now rising, as of the 7 April bulletin. The nation is immersed in a nationwide inoculation drive. Nevertheless, the numbers begin to make reality the concerns that the greater mobility of the population over the Easter Week holiday would bring a spike in cases. The effects of the Easter holiday on the spread of the virus are expected to be known all throughout mid April. For the first time in two months, the country apparently now seems to be in an upward trend of cases.

The government reported on 5 April that more than 1,187,599 have been vaccinated with a first dose, and of these, 320,898 have already received their second dose of the 7.8 million people targeted to be vaccinated. Medical workers and those 68+ years and older, and those 60+ with co-morbidities were the first to be vaccinated. Also, public school school teachers and all health care workers. Those 18+ accompanying a person of 80+ are included in the first phase priority group. The government is vaccinating elite athletes that need to travel abroad for international competitions. On Sunday, 22 March, the government also began to vaccinate military and police. On 24 March the government began the inoculation drive for the second dose for those already vaccinated in the country.

The government has slowed the pace of vaccinating with the first dose as it awaits new batches of vaccines. The first shipment of Pan American Health Organization-Covax Facility vaccines arrived on 6 April 2021. The 91,200 vials of AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in South Korea will be used to apply second doses to those who had received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine, primarily medical workers.

A shipment of 1 million Chinese Sinovac vaccines arrived on Wednesday, 17 March at Las Americas International Airport but these are primarily for the second dose vaccinations. Another batch of 50,000 Sinopharm vaccines donated by the Chinese government are being used to continue with targeted priority groups, primarily the military and police. The government awaits new batches of vaccine, but no dates for the shipment arrivals have been given. The National Vaccination Plan calls for next vaccinating those 65+ years old who have made appointments through https://www.vacunaterd.gob.do

Regarding testing in the Dominican Republic, 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. PCR test results are usually given in 24 hours or less online.

Canada and Spain are requiring all entering the 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 to show negative antigen or PCR test results taken within 72 hours of the arrival to US territory or a full schedule of US-approved vaccines.

Nine Covid-related new deaths are recorded for the Tuesday, 6 April 2021 deadline, while the bulletin reports two deaths occurring in the previous 24 hours of the deadline. The Ministry of Public Health says the larger number of total reported deaths are due to general delays in the hospitals’ paperwork. The authorities register 3,378 Covid-19-related deaths since March 2020.

Decree 171-21 establishes that from 18 March to 15 April 2021, the curfew is from 9pm to 5am on Monday to Friday. 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. On Saturdays and Sundays, through 15 April, the curfew is from 7pm to 5am, but again a three-hour free transit period, or from 7 to 10pm on Saturday 10 April and Sunday 11 April.

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 continue officially closed for in-person learning.

Hotels and resorts continue to operate under previously established less restrictive health protocols. This means that alcoholic beverages are available at restaurants and bars within the resort or hotel areas that are under the tourism 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 received a 1 million batch of Sinovac vaccines on 17 March 2021 that are primarily being used for second doses. An additional large shipment from China is expected, yet no date has been given. The Dominican government has also contracted vaccines with UK manufacturers of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTech and others, through the World Health Organization-Covax Facility. The first vaccines of the Covax Facility were received on 6 April, some 91,200 vials.

The Ministry of Public Health continues to mandate keeping to the preventive measures of mask-wearing, physical distancing in public spaces, hand hygiene and keeping to well-ventilated areas. 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 7 April 2021 deadline, Worldometer lists the 1M deaths per inhabitant rate for the Dominican Republic at 309. According to the same 1M deaths statistics, fewer people have died of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic than in the United Kingdom at 1,863, Italy at 1,869, the United States at 1,724, Spain at 1,626, Brazil at 1,596, France at 1,495, Colombia at 1,263, Argentina at 1,249, Germany 933, Russia at 698 and Canada at 611, all major markets for Dominican tourism and countries with overall better health systems.

The number of deaths continues relatively low. As of the 7 April 2021 deadline, 3,378 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 1.32%. The fatality rate per 1M inhabitants is 323.30. Dominican physicians’ diverse treatment for the disease has been relatively successful in the region. The Ministry of Public Health reports that the country’s 323.30 fatality rate per 1M compares favorably to the average 1M inhabitants’ fatality rate for the Americas at 1,334.49.

The Ministry of Public Health report #385 indicates 20% of Covid-19 hospital beds are occupied (481 of 2,389 total available), down slightly from the previous day. 33% of the intensive care units for Covid-19 are taken (162 of 487 beds), up 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 #385: 256,031 confirmed cases, 1,094 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 37,248 active cases, 9 deaths are reported for the deadline, and three reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 323.30.

Bulletin #384: 254,937 confirmed cases, 334 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 36,625 active cases, 14 deaths are reported for the deadline, and two reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 322.44.

Bulletin #383: 254,603 confirmed cases, 168 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 36,544 active cases, 4 deaths are reported for the deadline, and one reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate is 1.32%, fatality rate per 1M is 321.10.

Bulletin #382: 254,435 confirmed cases, 140 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 36,572 active cases, 5 deaths are reported for the deadline, and one reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate is 1.32%, fatality rate per 1M is 320.72.

Bulletin #381: 254,295 confirmed cases, 159 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 36,772 active cases, 8 deaths are reported for the deadline, and one reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate is 1.32%, fatality rate per 1M is 320.24.

Bulletin #380: 254,136 confirmed cases, 355 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 37,070 active cases, 7 deaths are reported for the deadline, and 4 reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate is 1.31%, fatality rate per 1M is 319.76.

Bulletin #379: 253,781confirmed cases, 585 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 37,108 active cases, 8 deaths are reported for the deadline, and one reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate is 1.31%, fatality rate per 1M is 319.19.

Greater Santo Domingo continues to lead in the number of reported PCR cases. As of 7 April 2021 at 6pm, the deadline for Bulletin #385, the most confirmed cases have been reported in the National District (74,084) and the Santo Domingo province (51,535). The numbers account for around 49% of the 256,031 confirmed cases nationwide.

Other provinces are: Santiago (28,060), La Vega (10,156), La Altagracia (9,364), La Romana (7,769), San Cristóbal (7,652), Puerto Plata (7,622), Duarte (6,460), Espaillat (5,202), San Juan de la Maguana (3,804), San Pedro de Macoris (3,534), Monseñor Nouel (3,470), Azua (3,220), Sánchez Ramírez (3,170), Maria Trinidad Sánchez (3,109), Barahona (2,687), Valverde (2,484), Hermanas Mirabal (2,366), Peravia (2,187), Baoruco (1,372), Monte Plata (1,245), Santiago Rodriguez (1,159), Monte Cristi (1,159), Dajabón (1,065), Independencia (984), Samaná (897), El Seibo (883), Hato Mayor (834), San José de Ocoa (817), Pedernales (644) and Elías Piña (408) as of the 7 April 2021 deadline.

The Ministry indicates that the newest allocated cases (more than 9) reported for 7 April 2021 update deadline are: National District (339) and Santo Domingo (238), highest numbers since middle of February when the statistics reflected the mobility over the Christmas and New Year holidays and the large numbers of relatives and friends traveling here to visit their families in the DR.

Haiti reports 12,803 confirmed cases and 251 deaths, for the 7 April 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. In person education has continued regularly in Haiti, and most people do not wear masks.

In the Americas, the Dominican Republic is now ranked 12th in confirmed PCR cases after the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Canada, Chile, Panama, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Read more:
Decree 171-21
Decree 95-21
Decree 133-21

See the Ministry of Public Health epidemiological

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

8 April 2021