FIGHTING THE PANDEMIC – The battle against the Coronavirus from the C5i bunker

ANDra strange environment. Difficult. Uncomfortable. We were near and far. But the activity was formal and of great importance to the country. A modern center at the service of surveillance and security was inaugurated. At this time he will be fully dedicated to everything related to the fight to control the expansion of COVID-19. Then he will be at the total service of National Security.

I had never thought of being in an activity of the President of the Republic, Danilo Medina, without being able to greet him with a handshake or a hug. This is how we had greeted each other on four previous occasions when we had met in some places during his mandate that ends next August.

Behind that dark mask of the ruler, I sensed that he had outlined a smile when greeting the communicators and officials who accompanied him this Wednesday at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense. A slight movement of the head, and his eyes fixed on those present, also with covered faces, made me have that feeling of “cordial greeting at a distance” from the ruler.

Is that the coronavirus or COVID-19 has changed the behavior, behavior and even the way of thinking of Dominicans and much of humanity.

What brought about the approach of President Medina, his officials and the media at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense, was the opening-delivery of the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cybersecurity and Intelligence Center (C5i) and Big Data health, monitoring unit that will lead what has been called “The war against the coronavirus or COVID 19”, which will comprise 12 state institutions, headed by the ministries of Public Health, the Presidency and Defense.

This pandemic that has humanity on its knees and that has left 260 deaths and 5,300 confirmed cases in the country until yesterday, according to the latest bulletin issued by official organizations, has been effectively dealt with, to the point that, according to the President Medina, this is among the 10 countries that has made decisions in favor of the population more quickly.

However, President Medina assured that the Dominican Republic cannot be asked for magic in handling the crisis of the new coronavirus.

“We are not magicians,” said the president at the inauguration of the Big Data center to curb the coronavirus in the country, and assured that no nation in the world was prepared to face COVID 19. “Some have learned from the mistakes of others. Some have learned from successes. This is trial and error. Some are watching us, “added the president.

Medina announced that the Government is preparing a new plan for the national economy so that small companies can survive, because the idea “is to fight the virus on the one hand, while working on the other to maintain the companies.”

He specified that, although this has been one of the countries that has applied the most restrictions in terms of economic activities, it has acted rationally in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and despite the fact that the industrial sector has decreased its activities, it has maintained its operations.

He explained that, thanks to the control maintained by the authorities, the main economic sectors have continued to operate during the crisis, particularly citing the electricity, agriculture and fuel sectors.

“The entire food production chain is working. You cannot speak of a total closure, that’s why we apply the PHASE plan, ”said the head of state, who for the moment ruled out accepting the request of some companies to be allowed to open.

He argued that “we must continue waiting” and asked the population not to despair in this situation, because there are only two measures to control the virus, restrictions and isolation

“It is a risk to be demanding that the country lift the restrictive measures it has because the population is despairing. There is no one here who is interested in keeping the measure. The first who wants to get out of this is the government, but they are circumstances that oblige you, “explained President Medina, adding that” that moment will come, because we are preparing with a new plan so that small companies can survive. At the same time that we fight the virus we work for the other, but without despair ”.

The dilemma

President Medina admitted that the new coronavirus affected the Dominican Republic at a socially delicate moment, due to the proximity of the elections.

Get scared

President Danilo Medina admitted that the new coronavirus affected the Dominican Republic at a socially delicate moment, due to the proximity of the municipal elections and recalled that when the first case detected in the country was released, sectors of the opposition immediately said that they were trying to create fear so that the population would not vote.


He said that the government’s mission is to reach the limit of flattening the virus and apparently it is reaching the moment when the positive cases are decreasing, but still it is necessary to wait to vary the emergency measures that currently exist.


“It is a risk to lift the measures. There is no one here interested in maintaining those measures. We are observing the process, we will see how this evolves. If it is necessary to continue, we will continue ”, warned President Medina.


LIVE – Danilo: Centro C51 has been ready but the electoral calendar did not allow it to be inaugurated

The President of the Republic, Danilo Medina Sánchez, served as the master of ceremonies for the inauguration of the C5I infrastructure and the Sanitary Big Data to fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“This place has been ready to be inaugurated for a few months but the electoral calendar has not allowed us to inaugurate it,” said the president in a meeting with the press at the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

He stated that the Defense Minister, Lieutenant General Rubén Darío Paulino Sem, and the Director General Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, are doing support work on permanent visits to all those who are infected with coronavirus in their homes and determine who should be cared for in their homes or in hospitals.

“The Armed Forces and the PN carry out permanent visits to the infected and those who are in their homes. They determine which ones are in a position to stay at home. They take health treatment and those who must be transferred do so,” said the president.

“We wanted to invite you to illustrate how we are directing work in this crisis caused by the coronavirus,” said President Medina at the meeting with press directors.

On the other hand, the Defense Minister indicated that the C5I infrastructure and Big Data Health is a command, control, communications, computer, cybersecurity and intelligence center of the Armed Forces to monitor the joint strategic and operational coordination of the Armed Forces. , using technology with the participation of all national security ports.

“The need arises for the integration of resources that the Armed Forces possess, video surveillance systems, unmanned aircraft, drones, which have been operating on approach avenues from land borders and at interagency bases since 2017,” said the defense minister.

He added that the C5i’s mission is to serve as the main command of the Armed Forces for the control of operations that are carried out in military institutions, guaranteeing the defense and security of the nation.

He said that from this platform the different operations carried out by each of the dependencies of the Ministry of Defense throughout the national geography are directed, coordinated, monitored and evaluated, to guarantee the command and control of the military forces and facilitate the halt I command decision-making in the face of national defense threats and risks.

“It is a computer, analytical and cybernetic brain that adjusts to different situations as the best tools,” said the Defense Minister.


BY PANDEMIC – The price of US oil plummets to $ 12.41; the lowest in 21 years

US crude fell more than 30% on Monday, below $ 13 a barrel, a new low in more than two decades, due to the collapse of world demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The US barrel West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was down 32.30% and stood at $ 12.41 per unit at 11:25 GMT, its lowest level since 1999. In 2011, it was worth $ 114.

On its side, the Brent barrel of the North Sea, benchmark for the European market, fell 3.8% to $ 27.01 a barrel.

Oil markets have plummeted in recent weeks to their lowest level in nearly 20 years, because blockades and travel restrictions around the world have a strong impact on demand.

The crisis worsened after OPEC member Saudi Arabia launched a price war with Russia, which is not a member of this organization.

The two countries brought the dispute to an end earlier this month by agreeing, along with other states, to cut production by almost 10 million barrels a day to boost markets affected by the virus.

But prices kept falling. Analysts estimate that the cuts are not enough to offset the massive drop in demand.

“Crude prices continued to be under pressure,” notes the ANZ bank in a note.

“Although OPEC has accepted an unprecedented reduction in production, the market is flooded with oil,” he added, referring to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC partners.

“There are still fears that storage facilities in the United States are running out of capacity,” the bank estimates.

– The WTI, “disengaged” from Brent –

Michael McCarthy, an expert at CMC Markets, affirms that the fall of the WTI “evidences an excess” of the crude reserves at the Cushing terminal (Oklahoma, southern United States).

The US benchmark is now “disengaged” from Brent, Europe’s benchmark for oil, and “the gap between the two has reached its highest level in a decade,” he stressed.

WTI’s barrel contract for May delivery ends soon, meaning those who have it must find physical buyers. But reserves have already increased enormously in the United States in recent weeks, and so they will have to lower their prices.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that oil inventories rose 19.25 million barrels last week.

Sukrit Vijayakar, an analyst at Trifecta Consultants, underlines that US refineries are not managing to transform crude oil quickly enough, which explains why there are fewer buyers and reserves increasing.

“I think we are going to test the lowest levels since 1998 around $ 11 very soon,” added Jeffrey Halley, a market analyst for OANDA consulted by AFP.


Society – The future that fell upon us

Alfred Hitchcock’s unforgettable and sobering film The Birds does not end with a splendid sunrise, where the sun shines a new day because all threats have disappeared, and the protagonists, after the terror of the birds’ nonsensical attack, before so harmless, wake up to a happy life, without further shocks. Unlike. The birds are still there, by the thousands, on the roofs, on the power lines, on the pavement of the streets, because it is only a truce. They will attack again. It is not known when, but they have not made peace with anyone.

Perhaps it is one of the best similes to imagine the future after this critical phase of the corona virus pandemic, the end of which is already beginning to be seen in some countries, as it happened in China, and plans are being made for the return to normal life. But there will not be a scene cut from the night of terror towards dawn clean of threats, and rather we will have to get used to living with the invisible enemy, taking care of his stalking and seeking to keep him at bay, knowing that he is among us.

There will be immediate fundamental changes not only in the world system of production and consumption, but in social relations, and in the limits and alterations that public and community life will have, as we have been accustomed to carrying it up to now.

Greeting each other by shaking hands, kisses on the cheek, may already be a matter of the past, because the rule to avoid the spread of a virus that we will not know if it has already left, or has mutated, or has been replaced by a more aggressive one , will be the social distance.

We will live under other norms that until a few months ago we did not suspect. A virus has had the power to cause a more radical change in the ways we relate and behave than the one caused by the technological revolution based on the digital paradigm.

Will we sit side by side in the movie theater in the dark with someone we don’t know, and who we’ll never stop suspecting if he’s an active carrier? Can we imagine a stadium filled with thousands of fans cheering on their soccer team from the stands, or a massive pop concert like Woodstock’s? What will be the parameters of fun and entertainment? How will bars, gyms, restaurants work? Will we have confidence in the hands of those who prepare food in the kitchen that we do not see, and in the hands of those who bring it to the table? And the trains, the subway cars?

Mass tourism, which offers cheap hand-held paradises, may be frozen. Boarding a plane, as is already happening in China, will become a tedious and rigorous sanitary control process. Cruises. We have never before seen wandering ships full of travelers who cannot dock in any port because the plague makes them undesirable, like in the movies.

Will we see classrooms full of students again, or will distance learning be increasingly favored? The ways of shopping in large spaces, the mall, which turns the conglomerates of stores into true amusement parks, and the black Fridays, invented in the United States, that lead people to paroxysm, will give way to distance sales, They had been growing since before, and soon it will be customary to see drones landing in the backyards of the houses carrying clothing, appliances, food. Books. What will be the fate of bookstores?

The Board of Innovation entity has issued a forecast document for that future just around the corner, called Towards a low contact economy, based on the changes that will be made in the modes of production and in the needs and consumption habits, but it has to do with social rules, and with the simple fact of how much we will be in contact with each other.

The premise is simple: “until there is a vaccine or collective immunity, the base scenario is a continuous increase and decrease of interruptions in the way we will work and live for the next two years, which will result in new habits afterwards.” The measure of rapprochement, or distancing, will have to do with social systems, public security, labor policies, migration, border control, globalization, and will still be able to affect political models. And democracy. Authoritarianism and demagoguery know how to get their fingernails out in crisis.

Much will seem to come from dystopian novels, where undesirable worlds are represented, and social controls contradict the parameters of individual freedom that democratic societies guard.

You can be arrested on the street, not because you carry a terrorist device, but because your body temperature is not normal, as indicated by the thermometer installed in the police officer’s helmet. Or the one who shows symptoms and is quarantined, controlled at home by a shackle, like the one who forces himself to take prisoners on bail. Minority Report.

But what will happen in poor countries? The evidence that we live in a two-story world will be exposed as never before, as the precariousness of health systems, the abysmal deficit of hospital beds, of respirators is already being left behind.

The recession that will affect rich countries like never since the crack of 1929, will have devastating effects on the weakest and most disorderly economies, and where the new rules of social conduct at a distance will not be easy to establish, because the reality of life daily contradicts them. Distance education without personal computers? Work at home where informal occupations force people to go outside in search of livelihood? Social distance, where crowding reigns?

The future, so distant, came upon us.


“STAY HOME” – Danilo Medina to the citizens: I ask you, once again, to help us save lives

President Danilo Medina today bowed his prayer before the Dominican people to keep the measures of social distancing, and thus prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in the country, which has already caused 200 deaths.

In his speech, in a speech addressed to the nation tonight, he explained that keeping distance measures is the only way to avoid being infected and protect others.

“I ask you, once again, to help us save lives, to help us maintain space in hospitals so that we never see ourselves faced with the difficult decision of who to offer a respirator and who not. In short, I ask you to continue putting life first, the good of all first, the health of the weakest first, solidarity with our compatriots first, “was the emotional call from the president within of the speech.

He also asked the population to arm themselves with patience, discipline and, above all, love of neighbor.

He said that in these times there is no room for hugs, but that the new way of showing love to others “is to stay at home, to respect the rules, to protect your face and wash your hands, to keep your distance. Each one of those actions and gestures, these days, is a sign of love ”.

He explained that these measures should be maintained until the statistics establish that it is safe to begin to open, little by little, the doors to normal activity.

“Let us remain knowing that this effort that we are now making will seem small when, within a year, we can look back and say that we managed to get through this difficult moment with success.”

“When that happens, I will no longer be their president, but I will never stop being grateful to them for their dedication and sacrifice in those moments when their Homeland needed them most.”

“With the help of Almighty God and with the iron will of all of you, this test will pass, as so many others have done, to the glory of our history and our nation and, on this occasion, each and every one of you will be the protagonists and the heroes ”, said the president at the end of his speech.


has 40 beds – Mobile hospital donated by Abinader in La Vega is still closed

The recently delivered mobile hospital, by the presidential candidate of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) to treat infected with the Coronavirus in installed in La Vega, still remains closed, guarded only by a vigilante.

The care center is equipped with 40 beds and is located in the vicinity of the Luis Morillo King regional hospital in that province, but it does not have staff.

Morillo King nursing staff said those facilities are not yet eligible for patient care.

They denounce that it only has two bathrooms and does not have artificial fans, in case any patient affected by coronavirus requires it.

Dr. Julio Garib, president of the Dominican Medical College in La Vega, explained that until now the need to use that area has not arisen, since they have sufficient spaces in public and private sector hospital centers in that province.

El Morillo King, the main hospital here for patients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, has almost 50 percent of its hospitalization capacity available for patients with the disease.

Abinader had offered to the government earlier this month to donate a 120-bed mobile hospital, power plant and extractors, and that the government would only have to have medical personnel to operate it, which was built a few days later, but has not yet been confirmed. uses it.


STRATEGY CHANGE – Germany to relax quarantine and start to reopen economy from Monday

Starting next Monday, Germany announced that it will begin to reopen its economy and gradually resume public life.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and regional leaders agreed on the resumption of school life in stages from May 4, as well as the reopening of shops of up to 800 square meters. Despite this reopening, the authorities recommend wearing a mask in all public spaces.

Meetings of more than two people will continue to be vetoed until May 3 and spacing rules of at least 1.5 meters will continue to be in force in Germany.

In this framework, they announced that mass attendance events, such as sports competitions or concerts, will continue to be prohibited, at least until August 31.

To accompany the progressive lifting of the rules, the German government recommends the use of chinstrap in shops and on public transport.

Although the containment measures are softened, the situation can only improve progressively, the economy ministry warned on Wednesday.


INTERNET – More than 500,000 Zoom user accounts are sold on the Dark Web

Cybersecurity company Cyble has alerted to the presence of more than 500,000 user accounts of the Zoom video call service, whose credentials currently sell ‘hackers’ on Dark Web or Dark Internet forums, starting at $ 0.002 each.

These user credentials have taken advantage of data from old leaks, with which ‘hackers’ have managed to access the current user accounts of Zoom using ‘stuffing’ techniques or credential filling, according to Cyble to the Bleeping portal. Computer.

In the cases where they have managed to enter the accounts, this data has been collected in lists that are currently sold in hacker forums on the Dark Web, with up to 530,000 Zoom accounts that sold from $ 0.002 each .

In other cases, account credentials were even offered free of charge so that ‘hackers’ could use them for malicious activities or for ‘zoombombing’, which consists of entering group calls as an intruder.

Zoom accounts began appearing in these forums since April 1, and include personal information of users such as email address, passwords, personal meeting links and the HostKey code, which allows you to take control of a meeting .

Users affected by this security breach include employees of banking companies such as Chase and Citibank and educational institutions such as universities in the United States.


NEW YORK – Dies from coronavirus mother of overseas deputy and elected councilman

The leader of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), Paula Santana, died in New York City of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Doña Paulita, as she was called among her acquaintances, was the mother of the overseas deputy José “Kuki” Morel Santana and the elected councilor Marino Morel Santana.

The death was notified by the PRM electoral director in New Jersey, Nelson Castillo.

According to the politician Andrés Matos (Licho), Santana wove with her deceased husband “his political history in zone E, then in E1 in Las Cañitas, in which he led women throughout his life.”

New York City has recorded at least 9,385 deaths and 188,694 infected with the coronavirus pandemic.

Before joining the PRM, Paula Santana participated in the ranks of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD).


SANITIZANTES – ADN will install “tunnels” to counter Covid-19 in the city

A novel sanitation tunnel system will be implemented in the National District for the first time to try to counter the spread of the Coronavirus.

The announcement was made by the mayor of the National District, David Collado, by installing this Sunday the first sanitation tunnel in the Dominican Republic, which is capable of countering viruses and bacteria.

The first was installed in the Villa Consuelo market, which was also subjected to an extensive cleaning and disinfection process.

Collado announced that this is the first of 10 tunnels to be installed in different markets and points of great influx of people in the capital as a measure to counter the spread of COVID 19 in the city.

“From day one we have worked with our hearts for our people and the citizens of these markets will now be able to operate with greater guarantees of protection of their lives, which is the most important thing,” said the mayor, leaving the tunnel that comes certified as Sanitizing against any virus, including COVID 19, by the United States NSF Agency (National Science Foundation).

He said they had several weeks looking for a model of tunnels that are certified in coronavirus combat.

The measure was carried out thanks to the support of several private sector companies such as Grupo SID, Grupo Rizek, United Capital and the private office Juan Vicini Lluberes.

The remaining 10 tunnels will be installed between Monday and Friday and citizens who pass through them must stay within 10-20 seconds inside and thus be protected from contracting any type of virus for up to 12 hours.

However, even if a citizen uses the tunnel, they must adopt other protection measures such as the use of masks, gloves, social distancing, among others.

This measure is in addition to others implemented by the mayor’s office, including fumigation, cleaning and disinfection operations that are carried out daily in all sectors of the city with special brigades of the fire department, urban cleaning and fumigation.