Dominican Republic rolls out new safety measures in wake of tourist deaths

In Wake of Tourist Deaths, New Safety Measures Rolled Out by Dominican Republic

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — The Dominican Republic's Ministry of Tourism's chief of staff has announced new measures to calm fears surrounding the increasing number of American tourist deaths.

CNN reported that the ministry's chief of staff Pablo Espinal said that the new safety measure includes adding more monitoring to medical facilities in hotels and requiring hotels to post emergency contact information in every guest room. Hotels will also be inspected more often.

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"Given the amount of coverage that we have gotten over the last couple of months we do recognize that there may be some concern among some of the tourists," Espinal told CNN.

Espinal said hotels that used to be inspected twice a year will be inspected four times a year, with detailed checks of food and beverages. An emergency information card will be required in every hotel room with contacts for embassies, 911 services and the tourism police force.

There have been at least 10 deaths of American citizens in the country since June 2018. The Ministry of Health communications director Carlos Suero told CNN last month FBI is assisting Dominican Republic officials with the toxicology tests of three American tourists.

In June, Francisco Javier Garcia, the country's tourism minister said in a news conference that the country is taking the deaths very seriously, adding that, "the Dominican Republic is a safe country."

"There is no such thing as mysterious deaths in the Dominican Republic," Garcia said, which USA Today reported at the time. "There is not an avalanche of deaths."