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By Kadeem Joseph

Official within the Ministry of Health are strongly cautioning residents against traveling to Covid-19 hotspots for elective surgery.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Rhonda Sealy-Thomas, who was speaking during a press conference on Wednesday, is encouraging residents to avoid going to the Dominican Republic and other hotspots for such procedures.

“I don’t think now is the time that you would really want to be in a hospital setting for a non-urgent matter,” she added.

The CMO explained that an elective medical procedure is one that is not an emergency. 

Dr Sealy-Thomas is advising residents to avoid added health risks by rescheduling these plans.

“…You would have had a medical procedure so you could develop Covid and post-op (operation), that’s not something that you would want,” she explained. “There is also the possibility of you transmitting Covid, if you develop it, to other persons.”  

Minister of Health Sir Molwyn Joseph also sought to deter residents from the worrying practice, adding that these individuals are mainly traveling for cosmetic surgery.

“The people who are going down for cosmetic surgery to the Dominican Republic, they should be encouraged to defer those types of surgeries, and we have had cases where some decisions are made and they are not even in the best interest of the patient,” he said.  

Cosmetic surgery is otherwise known as plastic surgery.

There is still a ban on travel to Antigua and Barbuda from the Dominican Republic.

 That ban was imposed earlier this year due to the high incidences of the virus in the Spanish speaking territory.

Observer understands that some residents who traveled to that country for these surgeries have had difficulties returning to Antigua and Barbuda due to the travel restriction.

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