The Dominican Republic (DR) Ministry of Tourism is providing the facts to ensure travelers have all of the information on the health situation in the DR concerning cholera. DR Health Minister Bautista Rojas Gomez reported that the DR government has a proactive disease prevention system and is implementing public education efforts to prevent cholera noting that it is very unlikely any long-term cholera outbreaks will take hold in the country.
In addition to excellent surveillance, monitoring and health programs, the DR just launched a sweeping National Program of Education and Prevention of Cholera that will reach over one million families and involve 100,000 volunteers. The national mobilization also has the support of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the Dominican Medical Association and the Dominican Society of Infectious Diseases. “This educational campaign has awakened an unprecedented interest in the Dominican Republic, to such a degree that from the most humble citizens to the President of the Republic, they will all be taking part in all the activities prepared for this purpose,” said Rojas Gomez. More than seven thousand public and private schools in the country will join in the program that seeks to raise public awareness on how to prevent contracting cholera.
Despite identifying and successfully treating a small number of cases, the country of 10.5 million residents and over four million annual visitors remains a safe and secure destination. Daily life, business and tourism activities are robust and thriving.
The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend restrictions to international travel or trade due to the cholera outbreak in Haiti. At this time, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has not issued any travel warnings for the DR.
The DR features well-managed, globally recognized world-class resorts and hotels with high standards of health, quality and safety. Headquartered in the UK, Cristal Food Safety Ltd.‘s CheckSafetyFirst.com website provides travel safety and health tips to consumers, hotels and resorts around the world.
Jason Burnett, technical director, Check Safety First, Ltd. said, “We work with the majority of tourist hotels within the Dominican Republic to ensure the highest standards of food hygiene and safety are maintained. We have been working with hundreds of hotels there to ensure they have all preventions in place and are fully prepared. So far, over 1,000 people within the DR hotel industry have been trained in cholera prevention.”
All of the DR’s cities and tourism regions, including hotels, resorts, beaches, attractions, airports, seaports and marinas in Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, La Romana, Santo Domingo and Samana are open and welcoming visitors. The DR Ministry of Health emphasized that “everything is proceeding normally” in the country.
Tourists planning on visiting the DR’s famous beaches and resorts do not need to cancel their trips and should follow basic food safety recommendations.
— The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a leading U.S. government health
prevention center focused on global health, says travelers who follow usual tourist itineraries and who observe food safety recommendations while in countries reporting cholera have virtually no risk: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/content/id/2492.aspx
— The World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters: http://www.who.int/csr/don/2010_11_24/en/index.html
— The New York Times Health Guide -Traveler’s Diarrhea
— Headquartered in the UK, Cristal Food Safety Ltd., www.CheckSafetyFirst.com provides travel safety health tips to consumers, hotels and resorts around the world.
DR Tourism Update:
— All of the DR’s eight international and six national airports are open and receiving commercial flights. All flights in/out of the DR are running smoothly.
— All of the DR’s cruise terminals, seaports and marinas are open, operating effectively and receiving visitors.
— All of the DR’s beaches, hotels, resorts and tourism businesses are conducting normal business operations including major resort regions Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, La Romana, Samana and Santo Domingo.
— The DR government is poised to assist in the international effort to preserve lives for all people on the large island of Hispaniola, should the need arise.
— All of the DR’s security, health, communication and transportation systems are all operating normally and effectively.