Dominican Republic’s President Danilo Medina declared Monday state of emergency for 45 days due to an increase in coronavirus cases.

The executive order was announced by Director General of Communication Roberto Rodriguez Marchena on Twitter.

The order, which was approved by Congress, will be effective as of Tuesday for a period of 20 days then it will be reviewed based on the epidemiological evolution of COVID-19 in the country, Rodriguez said.

The curfew starts at different evening hours in Dominican cities, changing between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. (2100 GMT and 0000GMT) and ends at 5 a.m. (0900 GMT).

He said that the use of face masks in public places is ratified as an “essential measure” and those who do not wear will be sanctioned.

The decision came as new spikes in coronavirus cases have been recorded countrywide following the reopening process.

The Dominican Republic has nearly 54,000 infections, nearly 1,000 deaths and over 25,500 recoveries, according to a running tally of the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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