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(CMC) — Based on the number of cases reported over the past 48 hours, there is on average one new case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Haiti every seven minutes.

The French-speaking Caribbean Community country recorded nearly 500 cases over the past 48 hours, health authorities here have said. Of that, 124 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 3,662 since the first case was detected on March 19.

The Ministry of Public Health said that two new deaths had also been reported in the west of the country, including that of a child under the age of nine. It brings the total number of deaths from the pandemic to 56.

The ministry said that there were now 3, 582 active cases and that the country is recording one confirmed case of the virus every seven minutes, particularly over the past two days.

“Over the last 32 days, there were 3,615 cases, an average of one case every 12 minutes, it added.

Citizenship and Patriotism Minister, Guy François Junior, said nearly nine million masks have already been distributed throughout the country.

Meanwhile, the Haitian Embassy in Santo Domingo is distancing itself from what it claims to be fake news circulating on social networks, indicating that Haitians living in the Dominican Republic will benefit from financial aid during the pandemic.

The mission said that it has “not been informed that organisations or institutions, Dominican, Haitian or foreign, have set up an emergency fund via a bank in the Dominican Republic for Haitian nationals living in the country.”

But it acknowledged that Haitians residing legally in the Dominican Republic may benefit from certain assistance programmes from the government there, making reference to the Employee Solidarity Aid Fund (FASE) intended to provide a monetary supplement to workers affected by the measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus in the country.MORE IN HOME

In addition, the embassy is warning that the images broadcast on social networks, showing certain shopping centres with a crowd of Haitians, who would wait to receive this assistance from Banco Reservas, are not true.

Meantime, Japan has raised its travel alert to level three for 18 countries and has included Haiti among countries to be avoided by its citizens as a result of the increased cases of the virus.

Japan also named Cuba, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica and St Vincent and the Grenadines as countries its citizens are to avoid.

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