|Russia's sanitary watchdog will decide this week on whether to temporarily ban Russians from traveling to the Dominican Republic due to cholera outbreak in neighboring Haiti, Russia's chief doctor said.
At least 1,110 people have died and 18,380 have been hospitalized since the disease broke out about four weeks ago, according to the most recent data from the Haitian health ministry. Sporadic cases of cholera have been detected in the Dominican Republic and the United States.
"So far, we have optimistic reports about passengers arriving from the Dominican Republic. But the coming week could be decisive... We will either move from travel recommendations to a ban, or just insist that our citizens exercise caution," Gennady Onishchenko said late on Sunday.
He added that the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)'s cholera outlook for the Dominican Republic was "unfavorable."
"For the first time PAHO expressed concern about the possibility of cholera spreading to the Dominican Republic and further beyond the [Hispaniola] island," he said.
Almost 48,000 Russian tourists visited the Dominican Republic in January-September, up 54.5 percent from the same period last year.
Source: MOSCOW, November 22 (RIA Novosti)
Update Nov 28, 2010
Russians traveling to Dominican Republic must be warned of cholera danger - watchdog chief
OSCOW. Nov 27 (Interfax) - Russian travel companies have to warn their clients about the danger of traveling to the Caribbean region, particularly the Dominican Republic, because of an outbreak of cholera in Haiti, Gennady Onishchenko said, Russia's public health chief and the head of the Russian consumer safety watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor.
"A moment of truth has come for our travel agencies. If they value their image and trust their partners in the Caribbean area, they must provide our people with full and exhaustive information," Onishchenko told Interfax on Saturday.
Up to 40,000 Russian tourists visit the Dominican Republic annually. Russian medical officials are worried that a cholera epidemic in Haiti could spread to the neighboring Dominican Republic.
"Vacationing on a minefield is a very specific kind of vacationing. You might walk through a minefield and everything might end up okay, but you might be blown up as well," Onishchenko told Interfax earlier.
Source: Interfax, Moscov