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18 Mar

COVID-19 Coronavirus UPDATE – March 18, 2020


LHVC Family,

Last night the president of the Dominican Republic Mr. Danilo Medina announced the Dominican Republic has declared a STATE OF EMERGENCY and new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, some of these measures now directly affect you and the hotel operation. The full speech is below with relevant parts affecting us and our members highlighted.

“We have also decided to close the country’s borders by land, sea, and air, for the next 15 days. This measure and the next ones that I will announce will take effect at 6 in the morning on Thursday 19. From that moment, only the entry of ferry planes will be allowed for the departure of foreign citizens who want to return to their countries and the arrival of planes, cargo ships, and fuels to guarantee supplies to the population.”

  • We urge you to contact your airline now and change your flight to leave the country as soon as possible.
  • You can use the phones in the reception of the accommodation you are staying in and at the VIP Customer Service reception in the tower.
  • If you need assistance we are located in the reception of every accommodation and are at the tower, all teams on standby waiting to assist you.
  • If you are at home and this measure affects upcoming travel please visit us on live chat and change your dates of reservation now.

Just like any time of challenge or crisis, we are here for you and together as one LHVC family we will help and assist you as much as possible, full speech below.

President Danilo Medina’s speech following the Coronavirus Pandemic on March 17, 2020

Dominican people,

The reason for this message is to personally communicate the current situation of the development of the coronavirus.

As of today, 159 countries and regions are affected by the virus worldwide.  This means that we are facing an unprecedented global health crisis, to which humanity must respond with responsibility and unity, putting above all the protection of people’s health and life.

According to the evolution of the situation day by day, the Dominican Government has been taking steps in stages, following the recommendations of the international health authorities.

For this reason, the doctors of the Armed Forces and the National Police have been guaranteeing the application of the health protocol in all access points to the country.

Also, with the promulgation of Decree 87-20, on February 26, we declared emergency purchases and contracts essential for the response to the virus.

This has allowed us to carry out a series of preventive actions, including the purchase of drugs and supplies to detect the virus, as well as the empowerment of 2 hospital centers dedicated solely to receiving positive or suspected patients, and isolation areas in 15 treatment centers.  health in different parts of the national territory.

Also, last Wednesday I appointed a High-Level Commission, chaired by the Minister of the Presidency, to coordinate the actions of all the government institutions and permanently monitor their implementation.

For its part, the Ministry of Health formed a Technical Commission that is made up of all of society, both the public and private sectors, to coordinate the country’s efforts on this issue.

At the same time, we are working with the rest of the countries that make up the Central American Integration System (SICA), for the joint purchase of medicines and other financial aid measures.

As you know, on Monday we decided to suspend for a month’s flights from European countries, China, Korea, and Iran, as well as flights from the Dominican Republic to those countries.

We have also suspended the arrival of all cruises, in all ports and coasts of the Dominican Republic.

Likewise, an exceptional period of 15 days in home isolation was established for all persons who have been in the last two weeks in any of the places for which the suspension of flights has been established.  This includes Dominican students who were out of the country.

All these people in quarantine must take the necessary precautions to guarantee that, if any of them is a carrier of the coronavirus, it will not have an opportunity to spread.

Additionally, we have started a massive information campaign for the population, utilizing a non-contact way, to safeguard the necessary social distancing.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you can see, the authorities are acting with responsibility and diligence, carrying out all the measures established by the WHO protocols to protect our population.

However, we cannot ignore that we are facing a global health emergency and that to face it, we must work together and continue to take additional and exceptional measures, because at this moment there is no higher priority than protecting the health and life of  Dominicans and Dominicans.

In this sense and in response to the global context we live in, I announce the following additional measures:

First, I will be sending the request for a national emergency declaration to Congress tomorrow and we trust its prompt approval.

We have also decided to close the country’s borders by land, sea, and air, for the next 15 days.

This measure and the next ones that I will announce will take effect at 6 in the morning on Thursday 19.

From that moment, only the entry of ferry planes will be allowed for the departure of foreign citizens who want to return to their countries and the arrival of planes, cargo ships and fuels to guarantee supplies to the population.

Likewise, teaching is suspended in all school and university centers until next Monday, April 13.

However, to continue guaranteeing the feeding of public school students, the School Feeding Program will remain in force.  INABIE, in coordination with the Ministry of Education, will establish a mechanism so that the families of the students can withdraw from the educational centers the food rations that correspond to them according to the number of students enrolled.

Likewise, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education will inform about the measures that will be taken to guarantee that students can continue their training cycle, corresponding to the 2019-2020 school year, through virtual teaching and other initiatives.

In the same way, following WHO protocols and practices in place in different countries, events and concentrations of all kinds are suspended for 15 days.

This includes national and international events, public shows, cultural, artistic, and sporting events, as well as activity in bars and clubs, among others.

In the case of restaurants, only the collection and home delivery of food will be allowed.

Flea markets throughout the national territory and binational markets in the border area are also suspended.

Electoral proselytizing acts that have to do with marches, rallies, and caravans are suspended, as previously reported to the presidential candidates.

Of course, these measures include all government inaugurations, which have already been canceled and any other activities planned by public authorities.

Commercial activities are suspended for the next 15 days, except for those dedicated to basic activities for the population: supermarkets, grocery stores, fuel stations, pharmacies, and commercial establishments dedicated to the sale of raw or cooked food, between others.

Public and private medical service centers and medical laboratories are also authorized to operate normally.

Any other type of company or business whose activity is considered vital in the current circumstances can contact the Presidential High-Level Commission and we will seek the appropriate solution.

The Presidential High-Level Commission will be announced in the coming day’s other additional measures to be effective in this exceptional 15-day period that we have declared.

The National Police, the Ministry of Health and other competent authorities have precise instructions to ensure compliance with these measures, which are undoubtedly extraordinary, but necessary at the time we live.

Throughout the Public Administration, employees who are over 60 years of age and have any special health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular or respiratory diseases, must remain at home for the duration of the crisis.

The rest of the employees will be alternated at 50% per week, except for the incumbents and those that are essential, unless someone with symptoms of the coronavirus is detected.

We also request that all productive sectors, whenever possible, implement remote work for at least 15 days.

In cases where this is not possible, the flexibility of working hours will be implemented and it is recommended that they limit the attendance of their employees to the minimum necessary, contemplating taking shifts that allow avoiding the influx of many people.

As I said earlier, in this context it is crucial to have the support of the entire society, acting with responsibility and solidarity, to minimize the risks of contagion.

We know that the virus is potentially more dangerous mainly for people over 60 years of age or with previous health conditions such as diabetes, HIV-AIDS, hypertension, and respiratory or cardiac difficulties.

For this reason, we recommend that all of these people stay in their homes.

But, also, all citizens must follow the instructions and precautions to prevent the virus from spreading further and reaching the most vulnerable through us.

We urge the population as a whole to avoid any displacement that is not necessary and, at all times, follow the recommendations for social distancing and hygiene that are being disseminated by the health authorities.

At the same time, we are reinforcing measures to guarantee the early detection location of any case, as well as full coverage and care for the sick.  In this sense, I also announce the following measures, which reinforce those already taken in the health area:

1. From now on, those private laboratories that are duly certified will be able to carry out the test to detect the coronavirus, under the strict monitoring of the Ministry of Health, following the established protocols and promptly reporting the cases detected to the health authorities.

2. More isolation centers necessary for the defense of the Public Health of the Dominican People are being enabled and we warn the population that we will not allow the alteration of public order to fulfill this mission of the State.

3. Concerning hospitals and clinics, visits and circulation of people are limited.

4. It is also recalled that the notification of cases is mandatory for professionals, clinics, and hospitals, as established by the regulations of the Ministry of Public Health.

5. Private health service centers, if they so desire, are authorized in coordination with the Ministry of Health, to enable isolation areas in their facilities.

6. The Superintendency of Health and Occupational Risks and the Ministry of Labor, together with all the ARSs, agreed to support all the initiatives of the High-Level Commission for the prevention of Coronavirus in the country.

Likewise, all the ARS undertake to add to their catalog of medical services, the test, and the care necessary to combat Coronavirus.

7. We have authorized the Ministry of Finance to take all measures to assist the pharmaceutical industry to support the production and import of drugs and supplies against the effects of the virus, in a way that guarantees supply to the population at reasonable prices.

Dominican people,

We are aware that these measures will have consequences for economic activity, but at the moment we cannot hesitate to take them, because what is above all else is protecting health and life.

However, to guarantee the employment and income of all workers, food security and economic stability in the event of any eventuality, the government has taken the following measures:

1. For the sector that will be most affected by the closure of flights, the hotel sector, the DGII will temporarily stop applying the rate to the Advance Price Agreements (APA).

2. Likewise, the payment of the annual income tax to be made in April by all companies that close the year in December will be allowed to be divided into four payments.

3. Urgent facilities will be granted to make the payment of advance payments of the entire productive sector more flexible, in three installments immediately after the emergency period.

4. The Ministry of Finance will coordinate any other necessary flexibility regarding the payment of tax obligations of companies and individuals, which could be deferred during the emergency period.

5. For its part, the Monetary Board, which is in permanent session from today, will publish tomorrow, the first package of measures aimed at guaranteeing economic stability and the provision of liquidity for the country’s companies, from so that they can cope with the situation and also protect people’s jobs.

Also, I am appointing the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank to coordinate with all the productive sectors the immediate application of these and other initiatives, if necessary.

I also want to announce that we are coordinating efforts with the Social Plan of the Presidency and the Economic Dining Rooms to guarantee food and meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable population in the face of these special conditions.

Rest assured that the government will not leave anyone helpless in these circumstances.

Dominicans and Dominicans,

We are continuously monitoring the situation, both in the cases present in the country and the rest of the world, to be able to make proportional decisions at all times, as the situation evolves.

And of course, we will be communicating to the Dominican society the results of this follow-up work and reporting each case, with full transparency of information, just as the rest of the member countries of the World Health Organization are doing.

To accompany this effort, we request the collaboration of all communication professionals and citizens, spreading only those duly verified information.

It is essential to avoid spreading rumors and false news, which could deviate us, as individuals or as a group, from the correct course of action.

We ask the entire population to agree to follow the directions, respect the 15-day exception period and limit their social contacts.

Let us always remember that each protocol is designed solely for our protection and that of our loved ones, especially our elders and those most vulnerable or who are already in a delicate state of health.

Dominican people,

I do not want to close these words without expressing my sincere thanks to all the men and women who, since this situation became known, work day and night to protect the Dominican population.

People who have not hesitated for a moment to put all their dedication and dedication at the service of people, especially the most vulnerable, regardless of the number of hours of work or the effort required.

Let us all, as citizens, place our trust in each of them.  In the preparation of our doctors, our nurses and all the care personnel.  In the capacity of those who are coordinating actions and in the service vocation of those who guarantee order.

But above all, let us put all our faith in our capacities, in what we are capable of overcoming together, Dominicans and Dominicans.

It is true, we are facing the most serious public health alert in recent decades.

But we are also facing one of those moments in history that show us the true greatness of human beings.

Being a Dominican has always meant facing challenges with courage and facing the future with optimism, and this time will be no exception!

Let us not let fear cloud our gaze, let us strip ourselves of all selfishness and see in each compatriot a member of our great family.

Let us act with temperance, with rationality and always thinking about what is important, what should unite us now, what we all want to preserve: the health of our grandparents and parents, of all those who are now more vulnerable, and of course, of our children and daughters

Thinking of all of them it will be easier for us to face the difficulties and face together any discomfort that we have to live these days.

We have already shown on numerous occasions that in the face of difficulties we become great and always put the common good first.

Let us demonstrate once again our sense of Homeland, let us remember the best values ​​that our founding fathers taught us.

I do not doubt that these same values ​​will make us act united once again and will allow us to overcome this difficulty, becoming an even stronger nation.

Let us have faith that this evil will not destroy us, not by my strength, nor by your strength, but by the power of God.

As the sacred scriptures say in second Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;  then I will hear from heaven and forgive your sins, and heal your land.”

Thank you.