Delta Air Lines has announced that it will allow passengers to re-book or cancel their flights to the Dominican Republic in the light of a series of American tourists who mysteriously fall ill or die in the country.
Referring to & # 39; recent events in Punta Cana & # 39 ;, a post on the company's advisory page, it was confirmed that all flights to, from and through Punta Cana International Airport are covered by the exemption.
So far at least 12 Americans have died in the past year while on vacation on the Caribbean island, while dozens of others have fallen seriously ill.
The announcement could be a huge blow to the economy of the Dominican Republic, with a 74 percent drop compared to last year, due to security concerns.
Delta Air Lines has announced that it will allow passengers to re-book or cancel their flights to the Dominican Republic in the light of a series of American tourists who mysteriously fall ill or die in the country
Referring to & # 39; recent events in Punta Cana & # 39 ;, a post on the company's advice page, it has been confirmed that all flights to, from and via Punta Cana International Airport are covered by the exemption
The policy remains in force until 15 August and passengers wishing to re-book their flights must start traveling no later than 20 November.
Those who cancel will receive a credit card that they can use for another Delta flight, which is valid for a maximum of one year.
Delta would also collaborate on a case by case basis with two other Dominican airports for cancellations and route changes.
American Airlines, JetBlue and Sun Country follow Delta's leadership and promise to work with passengers who want to cancel or change their travel plans to the province.
& # 39; With safety as our top priority, we will continue to follow events in the Dominican Republic & # 39 ;, United Airlines said in a statement. & # 39; We have not currently issued a travel exemption, but work with customers on a case-by-case basis. & # 39;
An apparent wave of tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic over the past year and a half has led to a rise in holiday cancellations, the analytical company ForwardKeys published in a report.
Between the beginning of the month and June 19, cancellations increased by 51 percent compared to last year. The speed of that is said to grow rapidly with each passing day.
Bookings between July and August have also shown a decrease of 74.3 percent, according to CNN. The number of potential visitors had even increased by 2.8% in April and May before the news of the dead reached the headlines.
So far at least 12 Americans have died during their vacation on the Caribbean island in the last year, while dozens of others have fallen seriously ill
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana have announced that it would remove drink dispensers from mini bars in hotel rooms after the wave of deaths in the Dominican Republic
On Tuesday, the owner of the Long Island pizzeria, Vittorio Caruso, 56, was announced as the 12th tourist who died on the island after suffering respiratory and heart failure on June 17.
His partner, Yomaira Ramirez de Jesus, told the authorities that Caruso suffered cardiorespiratory arrest and died after being transported to a hospital in Santo Domingo.
He is the 12th known American who died the last year, but the authorities do not believe that the deaths are related.
According to Ramirez de Jesus, Caruso complained on 11 June about the feeling of trouble. At that time he went to the doctor where he was treated and was released.
He died just six days later. A preliminary autopsy report showed that he died after a heart attack. There were no signs of internal or external trauma, the authorities said.
Two of the 12 Americans who died in the Dominican Republic in the last year stayed in the Hard Rock in Punta Cana.
Vittorio Caruso (photo), 56, died in the Dominican Republic after a heart attack on June 17
Two other American families also revealed that their loved ones died suddenly in the Dominican Republic. Chris Palmer (left), 41, and Barbara Maser-Mitchell (right), 69, died in 2018 and 2016, respectively
In response to the wave of deaths, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana announced that it would remove drink dispensers from mini bars in hotel rooms.
The hotel management has also announced that it has hired an American health company to inspect the property to ensure that the health clinic meets all international and American standards, according to the New York Post.
But sudden deaths and mysterious diseases have not been limited to only North American tourists.
Ten Argentinian holiday makers Candela Saccone (15) was supposed to return from Punta Cana on 19 June, but allegedly fell ill on the morning of his trip and later fell into a coma.
She suddenly started showing symptoms of dizziness, vomiting and dehydration, her mother said.
Doctors point to a life-threatening diabetic condition, despite the fact that her family says they have no diabetes and leads a normal, healthy life.
Doctors diagnosed Saccone with diabetic cetoacidosis, a & # 39; serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. & # 39;
It normally develops & # 39; when your body cannot produce enough insulin & # 39 ;, experts say.
The Argentinian teenage girl Candela Saccone (15) has fallen into a coma during a vacation in the Dominican Republic, the last in a series of mysterious diseases that happen to tourists in the country
The Maryland couple, Cynthia Day, 49, and Edward Holmes, 63, were staying at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana hotel when they were found dead in their room by their hotel staff on May 30.
Susan Simoneaux, 59, died in New Orleans last week after being brought to a hospital with a fluid in her lungs. Her death came a week after she and her husband Keith Williams returned from her honeymoon in the Dominican Republic
Donette Edge Cannon, 38, died four days after arriving at the Sunscape Bávaro Beach Punta Cana on May 14
Candela was then transported to Punta Cana to the general hospital of the Plaza de la Salud in Santo Domingo.
The Argentine authorities said that the first medical center & # 39; did not have sufficient equipment to treat it & # 39; New York Post reported.
According to CNN, the girl remains in a coma and in a critical condition, but shows some signs of improvement from Tuesday.
Despite the wave of diseases, Minister Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas emphasizes that the Saccone, Yomaira and many others cases are unrelated and coincidental and that all subsequent reports & # 39; exaggerated & # 39; are called.
Cárdenas hopes to stop the flow of blood for the country's economy, caused by the wake of the scandal. Seventeen percent of the gross domestic product of the Dominican is tied to tourism, so the increasing cancellations are a huge economic problem.
"It is not true that an avalanche of American tourists has died in our country, and it is not true that we have mysterious deaths," he said before denying that Americans are canceling their holidays to the Dominican Republic.
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