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Haiti - Economy : Reopening of border markets under high surveillance
27/10/2010 17:01:19

Haiti - Economy : Reopening of border markets under high surveillance
A meeting led by Bautista Rojas Gomez, the Dominican health minister, was present Lilian Renau, the representative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in the Dominican Republic, Lieutenant-General Joaquin Perez Feliz, Minister of Armed Forces, Carlos A. Gates, Chief of the army and president Senen Caba Dominican Medical Association (CMD), the meeting had the aim of seeking a viable solution for reopening, next Friday, the cross-border markets.

At the exit of this meeting, Bautista Rojas Gomez announced the reopening of the markets on the binational border area, specifying that they must comply with the hygiene measures and controls implemented by the Ministry of Health to prevent entry of cholera into Dominican territory.

The Minister said that the suspension of the market on Monday had made it possible to analyze the situation and to restrict the sale of certain products from Haiti. It was decided that the market of Dajabon will move to the north of the city until the threat of the epidemic will persist.

The Dominican Ministry of Health, Senen Caba and Lilian Renau, then visited the border provinces to ensure implementation and compliance with preventive health measures.

The lawyer Vinicio Castillo, the son of the famous Dominican lawyer, warned the government against the serious risk posed by the immediate reopening of border trade for the country. "The government can not let the pressure of commercial interests that drive the bi-national markets, influencing its decisions [...] the fact that there are more than 300 deaths from the disease in Haiti is serious enough to force the Government to evaluate the course of the epidemic in the coming weeks and make sure it is fully controlled, before making the decision to reopen border trade between the two nations."

Yesterday, Tuesday, at least 500 Haitians who entered to Dajabón underwent medical checks by staff of the Ministry of Public Health in order to detect possible cases of cholera. Several were suffering from flu, stomach aches, diarrhea, headaches and other conditions, but no cases of cholera were diagnosed. These Haitians were able to legally enter the Dominican territory and buy food and other goods in different shops in town before returning to Haiti.

The CESFRONT reported that many Haitians have tried to illegally enter the city via the river but they were quickly intercepted and returned to Haiti.

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