by Brian Major
Last updated: 1:36 PM ET, Tue March 24, 2020
Dominican Republic authorities are experiencing challenges in managing residents and visitors who defy COVID-19 restrictions and recommendations regarding public gatherings.
In a joint operation with military personnel, Dominican national police arrested 1,911 people in the historic capital city of Santo Domingo March 22 for violating the recently imposed 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, according to a local report.
Danilo Medina, the Dominican president, on Monday amended the curfew to allow "the circulation of people and vehicles linked to the industry and retail in food, energy, water, telecommunications, ports and airports, among others."
On March 19, Medina issued an executive order closing the country's air, land and sea borders and imposing restrictions on "non-essential movement," and closed restaurants and bars, halted cultural and sporting activities and prohibited large gatherings.
The Dominican Republic has detained 5,711 people in three days for curfew violations, according to the report. Local media reports arrestees have been released after 6 a.m. on the day following their arrest.
The Dominican Republic has 72 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and two confirmed deaths. Health screenings are in place and all arriving passengers must complete a travel history form, according to the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo.
Individuals from "locations with a higher incidence COVID-19 cases" may be subject to additional screening and self-isolation, said Embassy officials. In addition, arriving flight passengers without symptoms who traveled to China or Italy in the last fortnight may be subject to home quarantine.
The Dominican Republic maintains "an active epidemiological surveillance system to detect and control" COVID-19 and "is taking appropriate actions with regards to known cases." Although there are currently no quarantine policies in effect in the country, individuals with symptoms may be sent to local hospitals or requested to self-isolate.
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