Dominican Republic to spray residents with water over failure to observe social distancing

Francis Akhalbey April 24, 2020
The mayor of Santiago has ordered fire crew patrolling the streets to hose down residents not social distancing

Authorities in one of the cities in the Caribbean island nation of the Dominican Republic have opted to adopt an unconventional way of ensuring its residents adhere to the social distancing rules.

According to The Guardian, the mayor of Santiago, which is the second largest city in the country, deployed two fire trucks fixed with water hoses and loudspeakers to patrol the streets on Tuesday and ordered the fire crew to hose down residents who are not 2 metres (6 feet) away from each other.

In a video that has been shared on social media, one of the fire trucks can be seen slowly driving through the streets and issuing out the directive and repercussions for failure to adhere via its speakers.

“Attention. Warning. If you don’t stay two metres apart they will start to shoot water to separate you,” the fire truck announces, with a crew member mounted on top its tank with a hose.

“Respect distancing. This is your last warning. They are ready to soak you!”

The Caribbean country currently has over 5,000 recorded COVID-19 cases with over 260 deaths and over 670 recoveries. The mayor, Abel Martinez, said he hopes the new directive will deter residents from flouting the social distancing recommendation.

“Without spilling a single drop of water, the [physical distancing] began,” he shared on Twitter. “This is the kind way we have gone about to ask the population to abide by the measure. This makes [people] voluntarily comply with this necessary and vital measure.”

As measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, the Dominican government, in March, declared a 5pm to 6am curfew and also ordered the closure of non-essential businesses until April 30. A national State of Emergency that is also ending on the same date was also announced.

Despite the nationwide lockdown, authorities have arrested over 45,000 Dominicans for failing to comply with the directive of staying at home and only stepping out when necessary, The Daily Mail reports. Over 1,000 people have also received fines and over 5,000 have been ordered to do community service.

Last Edited by:Victor Ativie Updated: April 27, 2020


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