21 cases of COVID-19, one death and local transmission increases DR risk

DR enters epidemiological phase three. The authorities urge extreme hygiene and social distancing measures

After the number of coronavirus cases increased to 21 and the first local transmission occurred to a neighbor of the Villa Riva woman who tested positive for the virus, the country has just entered epidemiological phase number three in the management of pandemic, forcing the authorities to take a more drastic set of measures to contain the spread of the virus.

According to the protocol of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which advises the Government on this matter, countries enter phase three, when they present cases grouped in time, geographic location and exposure, constituting conglomerates of people.

Adding to the multiplication of cases is the death of a woman of Dominican nationality, resident in Spain, who after being admitted to the Plaza de la Salud and being dispatched to her home, suffered a relapse and died last Sunday, while she was transferred to the Cruz Jiminián de Cristo Rey clinic, according to the Minister of Public Health, Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas, during a press conference where he presented the current situation of the disease in the country.

According to the official, the woman, about 47 years old, suffered from tuberculosis and other complications that worsened her health condition. He added that the protocol for handling a corpse under these conditions indicates its analysis at the Institute of Forensic Pathology and later, its burial.

Contact map

He said that among the ten new positive cases detected, there is a doctor who was on the cruise ship Costa Favolosa, who docked in La Romana on March 9, and who is currently stranded on the island of Guadalupe, where they addressed other 18 Dominicans who remain stranded on that Caribbean island with symptoms of respiratory disease, and whose tests are pending confirmation.

He maintained that the doctor and his wife, who live in a residential building on Avenida República de Colombia, are hospitalized in stable conditions and their children remain asymptomatic and under observation.

Regarding the case of the designer Jenny Polanco, who reported this Sunday that she was positive to the COVID-19 tests, said that work is being done on the preparation of the contact map, looking for the trail of people who were at a party that offered upon arrival in the country from Spain, of which three have developed respiratory symptoms.

25 tests to be confirmed

The official revealed that about 25 tests are pending confirmation at the National Laboratory, among which are those of three Germans who are admitted to the La Altagracia Hospital in Higuey. More than 100 people are also under observation and surveillance, including those who were in contact with the Villa Riva woman.

Sánchez Cárdenas emphasized that, at this time, the population must take extreme measures of hygiene and social isolation, as well as maintain the forecast with travelers who come from countries where there is community spread of the virus, such as the United States, Spain, among others, which must be placed under immediate surveillance and notify the General Directorate of Epidemiology of their arrival so that the home protocols to be established are established and, if necessary, the virus samples are taken.

Patients are stable

The official assured that all patients diagnosed with coronavirus remain in stable conditions at the Ramón de Lara military hospital, including the Italian citizen who in recent days had lung failure.

As of yesterday, some 29 people, including eight who have not tested positive for the virus, remained at the health center that has been dedicated exclusively to patients with this condition.

On her side, the PAHO representative in the country, Alma Morales, explained that this organization has recommended taking social measures, such as the confinement of people in their homes to change the course of the pandemic, as it has been doing in countries like Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Honduras and Panama.

“The message for the population is, please stay at home, and notify if you already know that you were in a space with people that the minister has already said are COVID-19 positive. Stay at home, “insisted the specialist.

He announced that eventually, the meetings of more than 20 people would be prohibited to stop the contagions, with which, even the press conferences of the Ministry of Public Health will be held through Skype.

Likewise, he urged to avoid massive events of people, and the distribution of gel alcohol in gyms and supermarkets to contain local transmission.

He stressed that special measures must be taken with children, because although they develop the disease in a mild way, they act as transmitters to parents and grandparents, “and the population of older adults who are at risk must be cared for.”

Yesterday, the rector of the State University, Emma Polanco Melo, said that they have been contemplating the possibility of teaching in a blended or virtual way due to the advancement of the disease. From yesterday and until today, all public and private educational centers carry out cleaning and disinfection tasks after the extraordinary municipal elections.

On their side, the Superintendency of Health and Occupational Risks (Sisalril) and the Ministry of Labor agreed with the Health Risk Administrators (ARS) to adhere to the measures adopted by the health authorities to contain the virus.

During the meeting, it was agreed to propose to the National Social Security Council (CNSS) to provide the Ministry of Public Health with the possible resources, in order to contribute to the better development of the National Plan for the containment and mitigation of the circulation of COVID-19 and ensure adequate affiliates attention.

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