According to the Dominincan Republic Public Health Minister approximately 17% of the people who visit mallls like this are positive for Covid-19, but mostly asymptomatic. How he arrived at this conclusion was not explained, but if correct, it is an alarming figure.

SANTO DOMINGO. Dominican Republic–December 23rd, 2020–The Minister of Public Health, Plutarco Arias, affirmed this Wednesday that between 17% and 16% of the people who circulate in the different shopping malls are positive for the coronavirus, which they determined when carrying out random tests in those centers.

“We have gone to shopping malls trying to track cases. We have even managed to make 16 or 17 percent of people who walk in shopping malls positive; that is, it is a high number. Most are asymptomatic,” he said during an interview on radio station Z101.

He said that it is difficult to control the contagion factors in these centers because the infected do not present symptoms. He reiterated that the Dominicans continue to take the corresponding measures to avoid the disease’s spread, avoiding crowds.

He pointed out that the provincial directorates normally work on the preparation of the tests, and in that sense, they make an extraordinary effort so that there are sufficient samples.

He said that when he spoke of weddings, he referred to the good sense that people should have and that if they are going to celebrate a wedding, it is up to a prudent hour and that there are no abuses by the public forces.

He clarified that regarding the approach, he does not intend to remove the authority from the National Police, which ensures faithful compliance with the prevention measures.

He stated that the new protocol contemplates that the provincial directors see the spaces, that there are no more than 5 people at a table, and that the appropriate distancing is fulfilled.

“This is not a problem for the authorities. It is a problem that citizens must also embrace,” he said.

Dr. Plutarco Arias was himself infected with Covid-19, having tested positive on October 21st.

Meanwhile the appearance of a new highly contagious strain of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom and other European countries has caused the Dominican authorities to react with measures to try to prevent this variant of the virus from entering the country.