The Senate of the Dominican Republic approved this Friday the extension of the state of emergency for 15 more days, starting next Monday, so this measure adopted by the pandemic will be in force until June 1.
Dominican President Danilo Medina had requested a 25-day extension, but opposition parties forced this period to be shortened to 15 days.
Opponents argue that the Government has used the state of emergency to benefit the candidate of the ruling formation, the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), Gonzalo Castillo, ahead of the presidential and legislative elections on July 5.
Likewise, the opposition has also accused the Government of taking advantage of the state of emergency to do business with the purchase of medical supplies to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The president of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), senator José Paliza, said in today’s session that “many have found great profitability” with the state of emergency, assuring that “four public bidding scandals” have occurred in this period .
The state of emergency went into effect on March 19 and has received two extensions, the last of which expires on Sunday.
In requesting the new extension, Medina affirmed in a letter sent to the National Congress that the country must prepare for the “gradual” lifting of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
The Dominican Republic has registered 11,739 infections and 424 deaths from COVID-19, according to the bulletin released this Friday by the Ministry of Public Health.
This Thursday, the Minister of Public Health, Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas, said that the country is doing “well” in managing the disease, taking into account the low incidence of the coronavirus and the low impact on the hospital system, in which only the 39% of beds are occupied.
The authorities are planning the revival of the economy and also the holding of the elections, which were initially going to be organized on May 17 and were postponed until July 5.