The President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, has declared a national emergency to combat the coronavirus pandemic, which implies the closing of borders and the suspension of classes, commercial activities and events of all kinds.
Medina announced, in a message to the nation delivered late on Tuesday, that this Wednesday he will send Congress the national emergency declaration to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which has already left one dead and 21 infected in the Caribbean country.
The Dominican president explained that the national emergency will imply the closure of borders, so “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. “
He also announced the suspension of face-to-face classes, although he announced that measures 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 addition, he indicated that “a mechanism will be established 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.”
Medina also ordered the suspension of commercial activities for 15 days, with the exception of those considered essential, such as supermarkets, pharmacies or gas stations: “Any type of company or business whose activity is considered vital in the current circumstances.”
In this context, he asked the private sector, “where possible,” to implement teleworking and, when it is not possible, to make working hours more flexible. For the public sector, it authorized the employees of the groups considered to be at risk to work from their homes and ordered “alternate 50 percent” to the rest of the staff.
“We urge the population as a whole to avoid any displacement that is not necessary and to follow the recommendations at all times,” claimed Medina, as reported by the Dominican Presidency.