The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #423 reports 916 new PCR cases for the Saturday, 15 May 2021 deadline. The cases reported compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 805.
As per Bulletin #423, with the deadline of 15 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 277,188 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 4,999 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 4,861.
The national 4-week positivity rate is 12.18%, up from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 18.32%, up from the day before.
The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 39,776, up (+504) 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 now in Phase III, open to persons 18+ as of 10 May 2021.
As of the 14 May 2021 deadline, the University of Virginia Covid-19 Surveillance Dashboard indicates that 2,122,713 persons have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the Dominican Republic and 818,317 persons had received two doses. The government seeks to vaccinate 7.8 million people of the population of 10.8 million.
As of the 14 May 2021 Covid-19 deadline, Our World in Data reports 20.75% of the adult population in the DR has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
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 Sunday, 16 May 2021, the Abinader government issued Decree 319-21, extending curfew measures that would have expired on 17 May. The curfew continues to be in place from Monday to Friday, starting at 10pm until 5am, with two-hour free circulation until midnight. On weekends, curfew is from 9pm to 5am, with the free circulation a.m., with free circulation again until midnight.
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 and universities are gradually reopening to semi 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 vaccines of the Covax Facility were received on 6 April, some 91,200 vials of Oxford/AstraZeneca. A second batch of Covax Facility vaccines arrived on 14 May 2021, with 187,200 vials of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines.
Regardless of the widespread vaccination program, 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 30 May 2021. The Abinader administration has requested an extension that would bring the National State of Emergency to mid-July 2021.
By regional standards, the Dominican Republic has been relatively successful at treating Covid-19 and keeping the number of deaths low. For the 15 May 2021 deadline, Worldometer lists the 1M deaths per inhabitant rate for the Dominican Republic at 327. According to the same 1M deaths statistics, fewer people have died of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic than in Italy at 2,056, Brazil at 2,033, the United Kingdom at 1,872, the United States at 1,803, Spain at 1,696, France at 1,644, Colombia at 1,573, Argentina at 1,542, Germany 1,032, Russia at 794 and Canada at 656, all major markets for Dominican tourism and countries with overall better health systems.
Thirteen Covid-related new deaths are recorded for the 15 May 2021 deadline, while the bulletin reports three deaths occurring in the previous 24 hours of the deadline. As of the 15 May 2021 deadline, 3,582 persons are reported to have died of the disease in the Dominican Republic, a nation of more than 10.8 million people since March 2020. The fatality rate is at 1.29%. The fatality rate per 1M inhabitants is 342.82. Dominican physicians’ diverse treatment for the disease has been relatively successful in the region. The Ministry of Public Health reports that the country’s 342.82 fatality rate per 1M compares favorably to the average 1M inhabitants’ fatality rate for the Americas at 1,525.78.
The Ministry of Public Health report #423 indicates 31% of Covid-19 hospital beds are occupied (751 of 2,397 total available), up from the previous day. 56% of the intensive care units for Covid-19 are taken (289 of 512 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 result highlights are:
Bulletin #423: 277,188 confirmed cases, 916 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 39,776 active cases, 13 deaths are reported for the deadline, and three reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 342.82.
Bulletin #422: 276,272 confirmed cases, 894 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 39,272 active cases, 4 deaths are reported for the deadline, and two reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 341.58.
Bulletin #421: 275,378 confirmed cases, 1,059 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 38,888 active cases, 5 deaths are reported for the deadline, and two reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 341.20.
Bulletin #420: 274,319 confirmed cases, 822 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 38,134 active cases, 6 deaths are reported for the deadline, and three reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 340.72.
Bulletin #419: 273,497 confirmed cases, 688 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 37,562 active cases, 4 deaths are reported for the deadline, and two reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 340.14.
Bulletin #418: 272,809 confirmed cases, 701 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 36,934 active cases, 10 deaths are reported for the deadline, and one reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 339.76.
Bulletin #417: 272,108 confirmed cases, 560 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 36,605 active cases, 8 deaths are reported for the deadline, and five reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 338.80.
Bulletin #416: 271,548 confirmed cases, 948 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 36,371 active cases, 9 deaths are reported for the deadline, and three reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 338.04.
Bulletin #415: 270,600 confirmed cases, 642 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 35,996 active cases, 6 deaths are reported for the deadline, and two reported happening in the past 24 hours. The fatality rate per 1M is 337.18.
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.
Greater Santo Domingo continues to lead in the number of reported PCR cases. As of 15 May 2021 at 6pm, the deadline for Bulletin #423, the most confirmed cases have been reported in the National District (81,897) and the Santo Domingo province (56,939). The numbers account for around 49% of the 277,188 confirmed cases nationwide.
Other provinces are: Santiago (29,371), La Vega (10,467), La Altagracia (9,760), San Cristóbal (8,588), La Romana (8,216), Puerto Plata (7,810), Duarte (6,618), Espaillat (5,394), San Juan de la Maguana (4,109), San Pedro de Macoris (4,087), Monseñor Nouel (3,541), Azua (3,448), Sánchez Ramírez (3,234), Maria Trinidad Sánchez (3,214), Barahona (2,999), Valverde (2,741), Peravia (2,495), Hermanas Mirabal (2,478), Baoruco (1,486), Monte Plata (1,393), Montecristi (1,303), Santiago Rodriguez (1,245), Dajabón (1,113), Independencia (1,079), Samaná (925), El Seibo (906), Hato Mayor (902), San José de Ocoa (847), Pedernales (698) and Elías Piña (416) as of the 15 May 2021 deadline.
The Ministry indicates that the newest allocated cases (more than 9) reported for 15 May 2021 update deadline are: the National District (377) and Santo Domingo (246) in Greater Santo Domingo. The number of new cases is relatively high for Greater Santo Domingo.
Haiti reports 13,353 confirmed cases and 271 deaths, for the 15 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.
16 May 2021