The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #404 reports 78 new PCR cases for the Sunday, 26 April 2021 deadline. The low number of PCR tests reflects the government disposition that only allows one PCR test per year in effect as of 23 April 2021. The cases reported compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 519.
As per Bulletin #404, with the deadline of 26 April 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 265,481 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 824 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,093.
The nationwide 4-week positivity rate is 11.54%, up from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 9.47%, down from the day before.
The number of reported active Covid-cases dropped to 39,553, down (-31) from the previous 24 hours. Cases had been increasing after the Easter holidays and with the population’s general greater mobility and the opening of entertainment centers.
The nation is immersed in a nationwide vaccination drive as batches of vaccines are received from abroad. The vaccination drive is open for persons 60+ and those that accompany an adult 75+, regardless of the age of the person. Likewise, it is open for all employed in tourism industry, including restaurants, for journalists (at the Dominican Journalism Association) and for passenger transporters. The government is vaccinating elite athletes that need to travel abroad for international competitions. Military, police, health care workers are also being vaccinated in Phase One.
Public Health Minister Daniel Rivera reported that as of Saturday, 24 April 753,226 persons had received the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the Dominican Republic. He said 1,736,999 residents have at least a first dose of the vaccine. The government seeks to vaccinate 7.8 million people.
The government officially announced that vaccination centers were open to the 60+ age groups for first vaccinations and to all who required a second vaccination.
Regarding Covid-19 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.
Three Covid-related new deaths are recorded for the 26 April 2021 deadline, while the bulletin reports no deaths occurring in the previous 24 hours of the deadline. The authorities register 3,462 Covid-19-related deaths since March 2020.
On Friday, 16 April, the Presidency issued Decree 253-21 that extends the Monday to Friday deadline to 10pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays to 9pm with free circulation until 12 midnight every day of the week. This is good news for food vendors and businesses. The measures are effective for Monday, 19 April through Sunday, 16 May 2021. Previously, the presidency had issued Decree 231-21 on 15 April that had extended all the measures in place to combat Covid-19.
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 batch of 500,000 Sinovac/Coronavac from China arrived on 21 April 2021. 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 of Oxford/AstraZeneca.
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. As of recent weeks, mask usage is relaxed in ventilated public areas. Shopping malls and major stores continue to require the use of the facial masks.
The Dominican Republic continues under a National State of Emergency. The Presidency enacted Decree 231-21 that extends the National State of Emergency for another 45-day period from Friday, 16 April to Sunday, 16 May 2021.
By regional standards, the Dominican Republic has been relatively successful at treating Covid-19 and keeping the number of deaths low. For the 26 April 2021 deadline, Worldometer lists the 1M deaths per inhabitant rate for the Dominican Republic at 317. According to the same 1M deaths statistics, fewer people have died of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic than in Italy at 1,986, the United Kingdom at 1,869, Brazil at 1,834, the United States at 1,765, Spain at 1,665, France at 1,584, Colombia at 1,399, Argentina at 1,364, Germany 983, Russia at 747 and Canada at 633, all major markets for Dominican tourism and countries with overall better health systems.
The number of deaths continues relatively low. As of the 26 April 2021 deadline, 3,462 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%, dropping a percentage point from the day before. The fatality rate per 1M inhabitants is 331.34. Dominican physicians’ diverse treatment for the disease has been relatively successful in the region. The Ministry of Public Health reports that the country’s 331.34 fatality rate per 1M compares favorably to the average 1M inhabitants’ fatality rate for the Americas at 1,432.98.
The Ministry of Public Health report #404 indicates 26% of Covid-19 hospital beds are occupied (613 of 2,386 total available), up from the previous day. 37% of the intensive care units for Covid-19 are taken (185 of 497 beds), up from the day before. 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 #404: 265,481 confirmed cases, 78 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 39,553 active cases, 53deaths are reported for the deadline, and none reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 331.34.
Bulletin #403: 265,403 confirmed cases, 540 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 39,770 active cases, 5 deaths are reported for the deadline, and none reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 331.05.
Bulletin #402: 264,863 confirmed cases, 919 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 39,584 active cases, 3 deaths are reported for the deadline, and none reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 330.57.
Bulletin #401: 263,944 confirmed cases, 474 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 39,199 active cases, 3 deaths are reported for the deadline, and two reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 330.29.
Bulletin #400: 263,470 confirmed cases, 535 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 39,344 active cases, 7 deaths are reported for the deadline, and two reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 330.00.
Bulletin #399: 262,935 confirmed cases, 531 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 39,335 active cases, 6 deaths are reported for the deadline, and none reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 329.33.
Bulletin #398: 262,404 confirmed cases, 556 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 39,324 active cases, 9 deaths are reported for the deadline, and none reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 328.76.
Greater Santo Domingo continues to lead in the number of reported PCR cases. As of 26 April 2021 at 6pm, the deadline for Bulletin #404, the most confirmed cases have been reported in the National District (77,906) and the Santo Domingo province (54,111). The numbers account for around 49% of the 265,481 confirmed cases nationwide.
Other provinces are: Santiago (28,727), La Vega (10,315), La Altagracia (9,545), La Romana (7,981), San Cristóbal (7,973), Puerto Plata (7,706), Duarte (6,531), Espaillat (5,288), San Juan de la Maguana (3,928), San Pedro de Macoris (3,782), Monseñor Nouel (3,512), Azua (3,336), Sánchez Ramírez (3,206), Maria Trinidad Sánchez (3,153), Barahona (2,756), Valverde (2,563), Hermanas Mirabal (2,399), Peravia (2,319), Baoruco (1,418), Monte Plata (1,317), Montecristi (1,190), Santiago Rodriguez (1,189), Dajabón (1,079), Independencia (1,039), Samaná (917), El Seibo (888), Hato Mayor (871), San José de Ocoa (829), Pedernales (658) and Elías Piña (411) as of the 26 April 2021 deadline.
The Ministry indicates that the newest allocated cases (more than 9) reported for 26 April 2021 update deadline are: Santo Domingo (35) and the National District (27) in Greater Santo Domingo.
Haiti reports 12,999 confirmed cases and 253 deaths, for the 26 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.
27 April 2021