DAJABON, Dominican Republic – Dominican authorities barred Monday the entry of thousands of Haitian merchants and buyers on their way to take part in the traditional binational market that was suspended because of the cholera epidemic affecting Haiti.
The provincial director of the Public Health Ministry, Rafael Salas, told the press that this is an official government measure adopted to protect the population from the outbreak of cholera detected last week in Haiti that has already taken 253 lives.
Migration authorities said that it will only allow entry into the country for students and Haitians with Dominican visas, who have previously observed such hygienic measures as washing their hands, at points established by the Public Health Ministry on the border.
The suspension of the traditional binational market in Dajabon sparked complaints from Haitian merchants, many of whom came to the border from Port-au-Prince and remote areas.
The Dominican Republic also blocked Sunday the entrance to its territory to Haitian clergy who were going to take part in a meeting for peace in both countries, religious sources said.
Dominican authorities had announced a series of measures on the Haitian border due to the outbreak of cholera.
Among the measures was a ban on sales of food cooked in Haiti at the binational market.
While no suspected cases of cholera have been reported up to now in the Dominican Republic, Health Minister Bautista Rojas Gomez said that a unit has been set up in the national laboratory to diagnose the deadly disease, the press said Monday. EFE