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Tourist Trap?

American Death Toll Continues To Rise In Dominican Republic

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
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The Dominican Republic continues to be in the news, and for all the wrong reasons. In the immediate aftermath of former professional baseball star David Ortiz being shot at a night club in Santo Domingo, word spread yesterday that yet another tourist had died earlier this spring at one of the island’s hotel resorts.

The most recent death brings the death toll this year to six, four of which are Americans, and occurred at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana. Robert Bell Wallace was a 67-year-old guest who “passed unexpectedly while vacationing in the Dominican Republic” on April 14, according to the washingtonpost.com.

Wallace reportedly had become ill after taking a drink from the hotel’s minibar. Since March, nearly 70 tourists have reported getting violently ill while visiting the Dominican Republic, according to iwaspoisoned.com, a website that tracks food-borne illness outbreaks. Meanwhile, the nypost.com has reported that more than 45 of those tourists were identified as guests of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana.

The following public statement was made by the aforementioned hotel. “The safety and wellness of our guests at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana is now, and has always been, our highest priority. We are confident that all operational protocols were followed to ensure the safety of our guests. While we are deeply saddened by these incidents, and our thoughts go out to all of those affected, we along with the general public, will be monitoring the facts as they unfold surrounding these events.”

The nypost.com also reported that guests staying at other hotels, including Vista Sol Punta Cana Beach, Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana and Iberostar Bavaro in Punta Cana, reported illnesses as well.

Meanwhile, David Ortiz was shot in the back at a nightclub on Sunday night at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo. Police have held at least one suspect, Eddy Vladimir Fleziz Garcia, in the shooting. Ortiz was in stable in condition Monday and flown to Massachusetts General Hospital where he underwent surgery.

According to the washingtonpost.com, more more than 2 million American tourists visit the island each year representing more than a third of the tourist population.




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