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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

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Biosecurity model to counter COVID-19: what’s new at the Health Tourism Congress

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A novel biosafety model that guarantees a safe and reliable environment for attendees in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has been developed and will be launched during the V edition of the International Congress of Health and Wellness Tourism, to be held in Santo Domingo on June 9th and 10th.

The control and biosafety system address the three scientifically established transmission routes of the virus, such as surfaces, aerosols, and microdroplets, exceeding the norms, protocols, and standards required at the national and international level. Its design and application are in charge of the Dominican expert in biosafety with three international recertifications Julio César Arencibia.

The details were offered by its organizers, Dr. Alejandro Cambiaso and Amelia Reyes Mora, president of the Dominican Association of Health Tourism (ADTS) and of the communication and public relations firm AF Comunicación Estratégica, respectively, as well as the biosafety expert Julio César Arencibia, at a Listín Diario Breakfast, headed by its director, Miguel Franjul.

The congress brings together about 200 people in a room with a capacity for 900 and has the support of about 60 companies and organizations, as well as the sanitary permits from the Ministry of Public Health.

They explained that the biosecurity model that will be implemented during the activity is the first of its kind to be carried out in the country for this type of event and will remain as a contribution to the changes imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arencibia explained that the measures adopted, which redouble the standards required in hospitals and North American and European standards, guarantee a safe space where people can stay for eight hours in a room without any fear of contagion.

He explained that there will be portable UVC lamps and electrostatic disinfection that eliminates the virus on the surface and in the air, using products endorsed by the FDA and that although they are residual for up to 60 days, the activity will be disinfected every day; in addition to daily use in short-wave ultraviolet salons.

Regarding the control of the virus through microdroplets, Arencibia pointed out that they will be rigorous in the use of a mask and distancing, and that, to prevent contagion through aerosols or microparticles, filtration and ventilation will be done with hospital-grade filters. that have the ability to catch the viral load, which will be like putting a mask in the air.

In addition, he explained, 12 air changes per hour will be made, despite the fact that international standards establish only six air or purifier changes per hour, and that in addition, it will have installed air purifiers with the capacity to eliminate the virus in the air and on the surface.

Discussion topics

The organizers reported that the V International Congress on Health and Wellness Tourism, expected at the El Embajador Royal Hideaway Hotel in Santo Domingo, brings together 36 national and international panelists, with the aim of promoting the generation of synergies, new business and transfer of knowledge.

Reyes Mora explained that various panels will be held during the activity, including Lessons learned from the international accreditation process and COVID-19 standards; Health Tourism as part of the country brand; Health passport and role of vaccines in the relaunch of tourism and the economy, and Public-private alliance in the health and tourism sectors.

Experts will also present on the challenges of innovation and digital transformation in health, key factors in the patient experience, medical tourism in a pandemic world, and the strategies for reactivating the tourism sector, among others.

Business models

During the congress, a private investment lunch will be held, where four new medical projects will be promoted with an investment of six billion pesos and will generate 1,300 direct jobs.

These are new high-tech outpatient health centers and hotels specialized in health and wellness tourism.

Reyes Mora explained that at the activity will be the pillars of medicine in plastic surgery and dentistry, two areas of high demand in health tourism.

Lessons from COVID-19

Dr. Cambiaso pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to continue reinventing itself, advancing and strengthening ties between the public and private sectors, encouraging investment in new projects that create jobs and technology transfer.

He has also left the country, he said, to strengthen biosafety measures, planning medical tourism, greater pre-surgical and pre-anesthetic controls, and has highlighted the importance of having international accreditations.

Before the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the country treated an average of 117,000 international patients, of which 47,725 traveled directly in search of medical attention and 69,000 for tourism medicine.

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