For a while, the land border that separates Haiti and the Dominican Republic was also the demarcation point between two very different coronavirus outbreaks.
In the Dominican Republic, which draws tourists from around the world, cases surged to the highest level in the Caribbean. In Haiti, which had grown more isolated during a year of political violence, the population appeared to have been largely spared.
But over the last few weeks, that has begun to change, as tens of thousands of Haitian workers have returned from the Dominican Republic to their own country, many bringing the virus with them. That flow of returnees is expected to spark an outbreak that the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere will be unable to fight.
“This epidemic is a tinderbox in the process of burning and will explode in the coming weeks,” said Jean William Pape, a doctor who is the co-director of Haiti’s presidential commission on the novel coronavirus. Continue reading…