The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #414 reports 774 new PCR cases for the Thursday, 6 May 2021 deadline. The cases reported compares to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 487.
As per Bulletin #414, with the deadline of 6 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 269,958 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 5,441 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,153.
The nationwide 4-week positivity rate is 11.56%, up from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 14.23%, up from the day before.
The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 35,496, down (-141) from the previous 24 hours.
The nation is immersed in a nationwide vaccination drive as batches of vaccines are received from abroad. The vaccination drive is open for persons 50+ as of 3 May 2021. Likewise, the inoculation drive is open to all employees in tourism industry, including those employed in restaurants. It is also open to journalists (at the Dominican Journalism Association) and to 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. The government has announced that as of Monday, 10 May 2021, Phase III opens. This means vaccination stations are open to persons 18+ with Dominican ID cards.
As of the 6 May 2021 deadline, the University of Virginia Covid-19 Surveillance Dashboard indicates that 1,389,890 persons have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the Dominican Republic and 807,263 persons had received two doses. The government seeks to vaccinate 7.8 million people.
As of the 4 May 2021 Covid-19 deadline, Our World in Data reports 12.16% of the population in the DR has received at least one dose of the vaccine. The DR is ranked 10th in the Americas in vaccinating its population.
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.
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. 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 continuation of the National Vaccination Plan. The government received a 1 million batch of Sinovac/Coronavac 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. A 2 million batch of Sinovac/Coronavac vaccines from China was received on 5 May 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 and only 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 6 May 2021 deadline, Worldometer lists the 1M deaths per inhabitant rate for the Dominican Republic at 321. According to the same 1M deaths statistics, fewer people have died of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic than in Italy at 2,028, Brazil at 1,951, the United Kingdom at 1,871, the United States at 1,786, Spain at 1,683, France at 1,619, Colombia at 1,488, Argentina at 1,455, Germany 1,011, Russia at 771 and Canada at 644, all major markets for Dominican tourism and countries with overall better health systems.
The number of Covid-19 deaths continues relatively low. Three Covid-related new deaths are recorded for the 6 May 2021 deadline, while the bulletin reports no deaths occurring in the previous 24 hours of the deadline. As of the 6 May 2021 deadline, 3,517 persons are reported to have died of the disease in the Dominican Republic, a nation of more than 10.9 million people since March 2020. The fatality rate is down to 1.30%. The fatality rate per 1M inhabitants is 336.60. Dominican physicians’ diverse treatment for the disease has been relatively successful in the region. The Ministry of Public Health reports that the country’s 336.60 fatality rate per 1M compares favorably to the average 1M inhabitants’ fatality rate for the Americas at 1,485.20.
The Ministry of Public Health report #414 indicates 27% of Covid-19 hospital beds are occupied (635 of 2,355 total available), up from the previous day. 46% of the intensive care units for Covid-19 are taken (229 of 495 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 #414: 269,958 confirmed cases, 623 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 35,496 active cases, 3 deaths are reported for the deadline, and none reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 336.60.
Bulletin #413: 269,184 confirmed cases, 623 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 35,637 active cases, 6deaths are reported for the deadline, and one reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 336.32.
Bulletin #412: 268,561 confirmed cases, 508 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 35,599 active cases, 6deaths are reported for the deadline, and one reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 335.84.
Bulletin #411: 268,070 confirmed cases, 389 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 35,198 active cases, 6deaths are reported for the deadline, and one reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 335.36.
Bulletin #410: 267,681 confirmed cases, 226 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 35,722 active cases, 6deaths are reported for the deadline, and one reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 334.88.
Bulletin #409: 267,455 confirmed cases, 594 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 36,038 active cases, 6deaths are reported for the deadline, and one reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 334.31.
Bulletin #408: 266,861 confirmed cases, 300 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 36,107 active cases, 7 deaths are reported for the deadline, and two reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 333.73.
Greater Santo Domingo continues to lead in the number of reported PCR cases. As of 6 May 2021 at 6pm, the deadline for Bulletin #414, the most confirmed cases have been reported in the National District (79,452) and the Santo Domingo province (55,201). The numbers account for around 49% of the 269,958 confirmed cases nationwide.
Other provinces are: Santiago (28,979), La Vega (10,389), La Altagracia (9,652), San Cristóbal (8,190), La Romana (8,092), Puerto Plata (7,763), Duarte (6,563), Espaillat (5,350), San Juan de la Maguana (3,990), San Pedro de Macoris (3,914), Monseñor Nouel (3,526), Azua (3,390), Sánchez Ramírez (3,215), Maria Trinidad Sánchez (3,169), Barahona (2,839), Valverde (2,664), Hermanas Mirabal (2,427), Peravia (2,373), Baoruco (1,454), Monte Plata (1,353), Santiago Rodriguez (1,218), Montecristi (1,233), Dajabón (1,086), Independencia (1,066), Samaná (922), El Seibo (895), Hato Mayor (880), San José de Ocoa (835), Pedernales (665) and Elías Piña (413) as of the 6 May 2021 deadline.
The Ministry indicates that the newest allocated cases (more than 9) reported for 6 May 2021 update deadline are: the National District (232) and Santo Domingo (184) in Greater Santo Domingo.
Haiti reports 13,164 confirmed cases and 263 deaths, for the 6 May 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.
7 May 2021j