- April 10, 2020 -
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OnCuba Staff

OnCuba Staff

“Stay at Home,” an advice in the face of the pandemic’s advance. Photos: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Three new deaths in Cuba: 15 deceased from COVID-19 already reported

Cuba sets another record in one day, this time with three deaths, to raise to number of dead to 15 from the new coronavirus that keeps the world awake. The news was confirmed by the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) at a press conference, while it was published on all the ministry’s networks. Now, the number of infected amount to 515 positive cases with confirmation until midnight yesterday, April 8, of 58 new contagions. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1248273192738795524 The three people who died were the following: A 49-year-old man from Taguasco, Sancti Spíritus province, with a history of high blood pressure. He had arrived in the country from the Dominican Republic and was admitted to the Manuel Piti Fajardo Hospital, in Villa Clara. He had “pneumonic lesion, severe respiratory distress, respiratory, renal and myocardial dysfunction, hypotension and a distended abdomen compatible with paralytic ileus, mechanical ventilation and hemodynamically unstable.” The case of the 80-year-old woman from Havana residing in the municipality of Diez de Octubre was as follows: she was the contact of a case from Mexico and had been admitted to the Salvador Allende Hospital for an acute respiratory condition diagnosed with pneumonia, “with acute respiratory failure and inflammatory lung disease. She...

Havana in times of coronavirus. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Havana adds more places in isolation; will receive doctors from other provinces

The authorities in Havana will begin to apply isolation measures in new communities in the city due to the increase in COVID-19 positive cases, according to local press reports this Wednesday. In addition, the arrival of health personnel from other provinces to deal with the disease was announced. In the Cuban capital, social isolation had already been reinforced in El Carmelo People’s Council, in the populous neighborhood of El Vedado, since the previous week, without becoming a quarantine; and the same strategy is being applied as of this Wednesday afternoon in the Buenos Aires People’s Council, in the municipality of Cerro. In addition, the adoption of restrictive measures in other areas of the Cuban capital such as the Lotería People’s Council, in El Cotorro, and the Lawton neighborhood, in Diez de Octubre, are also being analyzed, according to the newspaper Tribuna de La Habana. The measures proposed for these territories include increased screenings, especially among vulnerable groups, no circulation of and sale by street vendors, the use of intra and extra domiciliary facemasks, performing rapid tests on the population and travelers, the publication said. https://oncubanews.com/opinion/columnas/de-otro-costal/un-golpe-de-viento-en-bolondron-puede-apagar-una-vela-en-copenhague/ Luis Antonio Torres Iríbar, president of the Provincial Defense Council, called on the municipal authorities...

A man sitting on a sidewalk in Havana, with a facemask as a measure of protection against the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Coronavirus in Cuba: record 61 cases in one day, deaths reach 12

This Tuesday Cuba registered a record number of new infections with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, with 61, thus the number of confirmed cases on the island reached 457. In addition, the island's Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) announced a new death, the twelfth in the country. Cuban Minister of Health Dr. José Ángel Portal reported this Wednesday at a press conference that 1,187 diagnostic tests (PCR) were performed this Tuesday, which confirmed 60 Cubans and a foreigner, from China, as positive, who had been in contact with a previous confirmed case in the Mariel Special Development Zone. Of these, five have a source of infection abroad (Panama and Mexico 2 each, Nicaragua 1), 42 were contacts of confirmed cases, 13 maintained contact with travelers from abroad, and the source of infection of one is still being investigated, according to the daily report issued by MINSAP. By province, Havana had the highest number of cases, with 22 (a total of 136, the only one in the country with over a hundred), while patients were also reported in Artemisa (6), Matanzas (3), Villa Clara (9), Sancti Spíritus (10), Camagüey (2), Holguín (6), and Santiago de Cuba (3). https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1247918597558734848 Portal affirmed that this “increase...

Havana in times of coronavirus. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Cuba enters phase of limited local transmission of COVID-19

In a meeting this Tuesday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and the plans to deal with it, the Cuban authorities announced that from now on the island would go to the stage of limited local transmission. Minister of Public Health Dr. José Ángel Portal Miranda said that this phase is declared “when cases are confirmed in which links have not been established with travelers from affected areas and are limited to small conglomerates in localities or institutions in the country.” Until now, the active cases of local transmission are located in Consolación del Sur, Pinar del Río; Florencia, Ciego de Ávila; Florida, Camagüey; and Gibara, Holguín, with a total of 33 cases. President Miguel Díaz-Canel pointed out that many of the measures characteristic of this stage had already been advanced in the pre-epidemic. What is distinctive about this new phase, however, is that all places where there is local transmission are going to be quarantined. https://oncubanews.com/cuba/aislan-a-una-zona-del-vedado/ The president reiterated “the will of our government to continue working, together with all our institutions, mass organizations and, of course, together with our people, to continue reducing the risk of massive transmission of this disease.” “We want to ratify once again,” he said,...

Cuban health personnel arriving in Italy to support the fight against the coronavirus. Photo: EFE.

Cuba sends ten health collaborators to Mexico to confront coronavirus

Cuba announced the sending of ten health specialists to Mexico as part of the support to other nations to face the new coronavirus at a time when regional health authorities warn that Latin America is still a few weeks away from seeing the already famous “peaks” of infections Cuban Director of Epidemiology Dr. Francisco Durán said that “ten health collaborators” traveled to Mexico, but did not specify their destination or their specialties. The announcement came a day after Mexican President Manuel López Obrador said they were holding tals talks. Over 600 doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians have left Cuba in the past two weeks to 15 countries, including Andorra, Italy, Venezuela and Nicaragua in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Before, thousands more were already in some 60 countries with which Cuba signed agreements to provide poor sectors with heathcare. Already in the midst of the coronavirus crisis in various parts of the world, in late March the United States tried to dissuade governments from requesting the support of doctors from Cuba. Washington maintains sanctions against Havana, pressing for a change in its political system. https://oncubanews.com/mundo/america-latina/coronavirus-mexico-valora-pedir-a-cuba-especialistas-en-terapia-intensiva/ Cuban doctors gained fame during the Ebola outbreak in Africa in 2014, and that...

People with facemasks walking through the streets of Vedado, Havana. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

46 cases in one day; Cuba approaching four hundred coronavirus infections

The coronavirus statistics in Cuba are as follows: 46 cases of recent infections and 2 deaths. This is what was reported this Tuesday morning by the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) authorities at the press conference, which has already become regular since shortly before measures to contain the spread of the pandemic on the island intensified. There are already a total of 11 dead and 396 infected cases, but the number of hospitalizations has again gone up, indicating a careful observation of the issue that can get out of control with the slightest carelessness. Total hospitalizations are 1,752 patients; another 15,762 people are under primary healthcare surveillance in their homes. The 46 confirmed cases were Cuban. Of these, one has a source of infection abroad (United States); 31 were contacts of confirmed cases; 13 of contacts of travelers from abroad; and the source of infection of one of them is being investigated. The residence by provinces and municipalities of the new cases is as follows: Pinar del Río: 1 (from the Viñales municipality); Artemisa: 1 (from the Bauta municipality); Mayabeque: 1 (from the Melena del Sur municipality); Havana: 6 (3 from the Cerro municipality; Playa, Cotorro and Old Havana, with...

Havana: a man rides his bicycle to work in times of coronavirus. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Measures announced for Havana against coronavirus

Havana authorities appeared this Monday on the Mesa Redonda television program to announce on the measures taken against the pandemic in the territory. Reinaldo García Zapata, vice president of the Provincial Defense Council and Governor of Havana, reiterated the need for social isolation. He said that three facilities have been opened for people suspected of contagion with COVID-19. Facilities have been allocated for: suspects, low-risk suspects and contacts. He also referred to facilities for Cuban travelers arriving from abroad. He said that this Tuesday the 14 days will be over and those who return to their homes or go to health institutions will be defined. He reported that so far 148 points have been set up for the sale of chlorine and measures have been taken in chain stores and the commerce sector for the sale of food and hygiene products. The goal is to avoid crowds. Similarly, the sale of agricultural products in the markets has been regulated. He also said that in Havana it is planned to isolate some people’s councils from the municipalities of Diez de Octubre and El Cerro, which will be reported later. https://oncubanews.com/en/cuba/cuba-with-350-cases-of-contagion-and-a-new-death-from-coronavirus/ Dr. Carlos Alberto Martínez Blanco, provincial director of health in Havana,...

The Boulevard of Ciego de Ávila. Photo: PL.

Thirteen new coronavirus positive cases in Ciego de Ávila

During a special broadcast on Ciego de Ávila’s television channel, Dr. Osvaldo Ivañez, director of health in the province, reported the appearance of 13 new coronavirus positive cases. These are in addition to the four previously identified in the part of the Ministry of Public Health’s report in the press conference on April 6 at 11:00 a.m. Today there are 44 virus positive patients in that territory. The information describes these new cases as follows: Case 32: 44-year-old Cuban citizen from the municipality of Venezuela, contact of a confirmed case from Venezuela, hospitalized on April 1, 2020. Four contacts have been identified. Case 33: 27-year-old Cuban citizen from the Florencia municipality, contact of a confirmed case from Florencia, hospitalized on April 3, 2020. Three contacts have been identified. Case 34: 5-year-old Cuban citizen from the Florencia municipality, contact of a confirmed case from Florencia, admission date April 3, 2020. Two contacts have been identified. Case 35: 41-year-old Cuban citizen from the Florencia municipality, contact of a confirmed case from Florencia, hospitalized on April 3, 2020. Four contacts have been identified. Case 36: 48-year-old Cuban citizen from the Florencia municipality, contact of a confirmed case from Florencia, hospitalized on April 3,...

The corner of 23 and 12, Vedado, Havana. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Cuba with 350 cases of contagion and a new death from coronavirus

With the data offered this Monday morning by the authorities of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), Cuba reaches the 350 positive cases of the COVID-19 disease. The deceased increased to 9, after a reported victim, and after yesterday’s report of four people in serious condition. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1247181165779472385 The numbers disclosed include the statistical closure made at midnight on Sunday, April 5, when 1,718 patients were hospitalized for clinical-epidemiological surveillance. Another 18,443 people are under primary health care surveillance in their homes. According to the information, 764 cases were studied, of which 30 were positive. The new confirmed cases correspond to 29 Cubans and a foreigner from Tanzania. The new deceased is a 38-year-old Cuban, resident in the municipality of Old Havana, who had had contact with a traveler from Switzerland. “He presented symptoms of the disease, was admitted to the Naval Hospital and finally to the Félix Andrade Hospital where he died yesterday. He developed complications with a respiratory distress and with different manifestations of the disease; he even started suffering from diabetes mellitus,” said Dr. Francisco Durán, director of epidemiology at MINSAP. Durán also commented that, initially, this patient had tested negative with the real-time PCR test. “Later, at...

Havana in times of coronavirus. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Coronavirus in Cuba: island surpasses 300 cases, two new deceased

The Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) confirmed 32 new infections of the new coronavirus, bringing the number of confirmed cases on the island to 320. In addition, the number of deceased increased to eight after the death of two patients, the number of hospitalized patients decreased to 1,887 and the number of discharges is 15. According to this Sunday’s report―which includes the data from the closing on Saturday―eight patients are in critical condition, and one in serious condition is added, which are now four. The remaining 283 hospitalized patients have a stable clinical evolution. According to Dr. Francisco Durán, director of epidemiology of the MINSAP, for the second day more than a thousand (1,201) diagnostic tests (PCR) were carried out on the island, 649 of them at the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine, 225 in the Havana laboratory, 139 in Villa Clara and 188 in Santiago de Cuba. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1246835432723267590 The MINSAP report said that a total of 1,887 patients have been hospitalized, 291 of them suspects, while another 16,306 people are under primary health care surveillance at home. For the second consecutive day, there were no arrivals of travelers from abroad (only one air operation from Italy was...

Press conference in which the Letter of the Year 2020 was presented this Thursday, in Havana. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa/EFE.

Coronavirus pandemic is result of ideological rivalries, say Cuba’s Yoruba priests

Yoruba priests from Cuba agreed that the coronavirus pandemic affecting the world today was caused by ideological rivalry between the topmost political personalities worldwide. The priests came to this conclusion after studying the Ifá predictions in the Letter of the Year, released last January, for “a better understanding of events.” “Ifá is pointing to this rivalry as the main cause of the origin of the pandemic that, in reality, is being established and spreading, fundamentally, at all the entrances and borders of a city,” says a post by the Yoruba Cultural Association of Cuba on Facebook, based on the reinterpretation of texts from its religious system. “We cannot classify who is inclined to Good nor who is inclined to Evil since, Good and Evil, are two very relative concepts. In this contemporary world, everyone embraces the Ideology that they consider Good, while others consider it Evil,” explained the priests, for whom the spread of the pathogen may be due to conflicts between people with opposite positions. “In this case, harmful medicinal preparations are used as an offensive weapon, causing certain ailments, very similar to those caused by the coronavirus,” they indicate. https://www.facebook.com/asyorubacuba/posts/1292610244273482 The priests, grouped in the Yoruba Cultural Association...

Havana in times of coronavirus. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Coronavirus in Cuba: 19 new cases, critical patients increase

The Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) confirmed 19 new infections of the new coronavirus, bringing the number of confirmed cases on the island to 288. In addition, the number of deaths remained at six and there were no new discharges, which are still 15 so far. On the other hand, this Saturday’s report–with the data from the closing on Friday–registers an increase in patients in critical condition, which rose to eight, and in serious condition, which are now three. The remaining 255 hospitalized patients presented a stable clinical evolution. According to Dr. Francisco Durán, director of Epidemiology of the MINSAP, for the first time more than a thousand diagnostic tests (PCR) were carried out on the island, which confirmed 18 Cubans and one foreigner, from Peru, as positive. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1246462329681780736 Of the Cubans diagnosed, the report indicates that two have a source of infection abroad (Italy and Nicaragua), while seven were contacts of confirmed cases and nine were related to travelers from abroad. The age of the new cases varies from a six-year-old boy to a 101-year-old woman, who is one of those reported as serious, while eleven of the patients are women and eight are men. By provinces Havana...

Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Cuban Minister of Health: “You can’t let your guard down for a single minute”

Twenty-four days after the first three cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed, at the close of yesterday, Thursday, April 2, 269 patients were registered in Cuba, after confirming 36 new cases, said Minister of Public Health Dr. José Ángel Portal Miranda in the Mesa Redonda television program this Friday. He specified that the incidence rate of the disease is 2.4 per 100,000 inhabitants, and that in confirmed cases the male sex prevails―140, 52% of the total—; that 63.2% of the patients are between 25 and 59 years old; and that 19.8% are over 60. Six percent are children under 12. There are nine cases of people over 80. To date 22 patients in serious condition have been reported: 8% of confirmed cases. In other countries, he said, this indicator stands at around 20%. In Cuba, only 5% of cases have developed critical conditions. He also disclosed that 50% of seriously ill patients are over 60 years old, and that 36.4% are between 40 and 60 years old. Eighty percent are men. In all cases, he said, their serious condition has been linked to pre-existing chronic diseases. The latest report records that there are six critically ill and two patients in serious...

Havana in times of coronavirus. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Cuba raises the number of COVID-19 patients to 269, and continues registering no new deaths

Daily monitoring applied by the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) yielded 36 new cases of coronavirus in Cuba at the close of this Thursday, April 2, and there were no new deaths. With the new data, the list of infected by SARS-Cov-2 on the Island amounts to 269 and deaths remain at six. Of the 36 new confirmed cases, 35 Cubans and a foreigner of Chinese nationality were diagnosed. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1246093390749601792 Regarding Cubans, five had a source of infection abroad: Spain (3), Haiti and the United States (1 each), 26 were contacts of confirmed cases and four were in contact with travelers from abroad. Their places of residence by provinces and municipalities is as follows: Pinar del Río: 5 (3 from Pinar del Río municipality and 2 from Consolación del Sur, Camilo Cienfuegos community) Artemisa: 4 (2 from Artemisa municipality, 1 from San Antonio de los Baños and 1 from Mariel) Havana: 7 (3 from Marianao municipality, 1 from Playa, 1 from Diez de Octubre, 1 from Plaza de la Revolución, 1 from Cotorro) Matanzas: 1 (Jovellanos Municipality) Villa Clara: 2 (1 from Cifuentes municipality, and 1 from Santa Clara) Sancti Spíritus: 2 (2 from Taguasco municipality) Ciego de Ávila: 6...

Trinidad. Photo: Expert Vagabond.

Two Sancti Spíritus patients hospitalized with coronavirus discharged

According to the newspaper Trabajadores, two Sancti Spíritus patients who had tested positive for the coronavirus were discharged. The are Nancy Benítez Vázquez, a 58-year-old woman from Trinidad who had contact with a COVID-19 positive American patient; and Omar Herrera Pérez, 27, who arrived in La Sierpe on March 6 from the United States. A street in Trinidad. Photo: Minube. The provincial director of health, Dr. Manuel Rivero Abella, told the media in that province that both patients have been in their homes since this Wednesday, but that “they will remain isolated and restricted from leaving their homes for another 14 days, under surveillance by the family doctor and nurse in their community.” Both were referred to the Faustino Pérez rehabilitation hospital in Sancti Spíritus, set up as an isolation center. After confirming the diagnosis, they were transferred to the Santa Clara Military Hospital, where nine people from Sancti Spíritus are currently hospitalized, two of them in critical condition.

Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez, new cardinal of the Catholic Church in Cuba, participates in the procession of the Our Lady of Regla, in Havana, on September 7, 2019. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Cuban radio and television to broadcast programming for Easter

Several local radio stations and the Educational Channel of Cuban television will feature a special programming for Easter with Catholic masses, radio addresses by bishops and audiovisuals on religious subjects, the magazine Palabra Nueva reported. The radio addresses will continue for the duration of the social isolation measures taken by the Cuban government to control the COVID-19 pandemic, even after Easter, according to the publication belonging to the Havana Archdiocese. The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba announced that each bishop will make a 30-minute radio address in his diocese, on the morning of April 5 (Palm Sunday), April 9 (Maundy Thursday), April 10 (Good Friday) and April 12 (Easter Sunday), according to the source. https://www.facebook.com/palabranuevacuba/posts/2787902187974789 Meanwhile, television will broadcast the mass to be held in the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, in El Cobre, Santiago de Cuba. The television programming dedicated to these religious services includes the screening of the film Jesús de Nazaret, by Franco Zefirelli, on Sunday, April 5, at 9:00 p.m. on the Educational Channel. This channel will broadcast the sermon of The Seven Words that will be given by Cardinal Juan de la Caridad García, Archbishop of Havana, and the Stations of the Cross...

Havana in times of coronavirus. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

COVID-19 at close of first day of April: 233 infections in Cuba, no new deaths

The total number of people infected with the new coronavirus in Cuba reached 233, according to this Thursday’s report by the authorities of the island's Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP). In addition, the number of deceased remained at six and a new medical discharge was registered, the thirteenth. Of the 576 tests made at the close of Wednesday, the MINSAP confirmed 21 new infections. Of these, 20 are Cuban and one is a Chinese citizen who works in the Mariel Special Development Zone. Of the Cubans diagnosed, the report indicates that two have a source of infection abroad: Spain and Dubai (one each), while 13 were contacts of confirmed cases and five were contacts of travelers from abroad. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1245727988504821761 The age of the new cases varies from a three-year-old minor to an elderly woman of 79, while the prevailing age range is between 30 and 60 years with 12 infected. Twelve of the cases are women and nine are men, while by provinces Havana added five cases; Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Ciego de Ávila and Santiago de Cuba, three each; Pinar del Río, two; and Artemisa and Camagüey, one. The discharged patient, according to MINSAP, was the “index case” of the second...

A Cuban checks his cell phone in Havana wearing a facemask as a protection measure against the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

ETECSA lowers rates and extends validity of services

The Cuban Telecommunications Enterprise (ETECSA) will launch a group of measures during the current situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which include lowering rates and extending the validity of some services. These measures, which were announced this Tuesday by Minister of Communications Jorge Luis Perdomo, include the reduction of the price of voice and data packages in mobile telephony between 1:00 and 6:00 a.m. and a 25% discount for national calls made between 6:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. with prepaid cards. It also established a 50% reduction in the national long distance rate during in the quarantine period, between 6:00 a.m. and 5:59 p.m., and 25% from 6:00 p.m. to 10:59 p.m. Likewise, the validity of the bonus of the second international recharge in March and those acquired in April was extended to 30 days, while in this same month 10 hours will be added to the contracted Nauta Hogar home internet package and once they have been consumed, the additional hours will cost 0.30 CUC (Cuban convertible pesos). https://twitter.com/ETECSA_Cuba/status/1245385347929948161?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1245385347929948161&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fcuba%2Fetecsa-rebaja-tarifas-y-extiende-vigencia-de-servicios%2F The ETECSA note does not specify for how long these measures will be in force and affirms that their characteristics “will be reported in a timely manner once they take...

Havana in times of coronavirus. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Cuba kicks off April with a total of 212 COVID-19 patients, with no new deaths

Cuba closed March with 26 new infections, while there were no deaths due to COVID-19, as reported by the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) this Wednesday. Among the confirmed cases, 25 are Cuban and one is a foreigner (Spain). Of the Cubans diagnosed, 8 had the source of infection outside the country: United States and Mexico (3 each), Chile and Spain (one each); 10 were contacts of confirmed cases and 7 were in contact with travelers from abroad. Most of the new positive cases are registered in Havana (9), Santiago de Cuba (4), Villa Clara (3) and Camagüey (3), Holguín (2) and Sancti Spíritus (2), Pinar del Río (1) and Las Tunas (1). Two minors are on the list, a 15-year-old girl in Florida, Camagüey, and a four-month-old baby in Santiago de Cuba. Both have a satisfactory evolution. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1245366676155236352 Yesterday there were four new medical discharges, including that of a 94-year-old Cuban. The total of discharged now amounted to 12. Four critically ill and one seriously ill patient are reported. The data at the close of March 31, marks the beginning of April with a total of 212 cases and 6 deaths, which is why the government continues to apply...

They include, among others, the suspension of the May Day parade and postponing the next ANAP congress.

New measures against coronavirus announced in Cuba

In the nightly edition of this Tuesday’s National Television Newscast it was officially announced that by agreement of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party, Cuba has adopted a set of new measures, including suspending the May Day parade and postponing the next Congress of the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP). Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero announced the suspension of passenger flights. Considering the rise of the pandemic in the world, it was considered that these arrivals constitute a risk for Cubans. At the meeting to analyze the implementation of the plan to confront the new coronavirus in Cuba, the prime minister reported that it was also decided to withdraw foreign vessels from national territorial waters. He said that this measure will take effect as of next Thursday, although support to the crews of ships with sick travelers will continue to be provided. Photo: Radio Reloj. In addition, at the request of the Provincial Defense Council of Pinar del Río, the Ministry of Public Health and the National Defense Council decreed restrictive isolation measures in the Camilo Cienfuegos Community of Consolación del Sur, and activated the Defense Zone. At the press conference of the Ministry...

Consolación del Sur, in Pinar del Río, is one of the localities most affected by the coronavirus in Cuba. Photo: radioreloj.cu

Quarantine decreed for Consolación del Sur area due to COVID-19 cases

The Pinar del Río government decreed quarantine for the El Canal People’s Council, in the municipality of Consolación del Sur, after learning of a new case of local transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This is the first community in Cuba that is isolated due to the epidemic. The first secretary of the Communist Party in the province of Pinar del Río, where the People’s Council is quarantined, said that “the screenings must be intensified,” as well as the study of positive cases, in addition to “studying all the potentials to create capacities for isolation.” https://www.facebook.com/AMPPC.Sur/posts/2595067174093627 In the Camilo Cienfuegos community, located in El Canal, several local infections of the virus occurred with a couple who returned from Mexico and was confirmed with COVID-19. Last Friday, the disease was diagnosed in a minor patient, the couple's son, and 48 contacts of the infected child were identified, according to information published by local media. On Sunday, the Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) confirmed in its report the contagion of another woman, 61, also residing in Consolación del Sur, a municipality in Pinar del Rio with a population of around 88,500 inhabitants. A total of 33 contacts of that patient...

The Alberto Delgado school is one of the centers for the isolation of patients suspected of coronavirus in Sancti Spíritus. Photo: Vicente Brito / Escambray

Six persons escape from an isolation center in Cuba and were captured

Six persons escaped this weekend from an isolation center for suspected coronavirus cases in Sancti Spíritus province and were captured in less than 24 hours, the local newspaper Escambray reported. The alleged violators of the quarantine will be subjected to a criminal process, by which they could face sanctions of between three months and one year of prison, or fines of 100 to 300 quotas, said the municipality’s prosecutor, Anamaris Conde, cited by the source. https://twitter.com/hacemos_cuba/status/1243183511181438976 The six persons escaped this Saturday from an isolation center located at the Alberto Delgado school, in the municipality of Sancti Spíritus. A doctor and a nurse, who carried out routine rounds to check if any of the admitted patients showed respiratory symptoms, discovered their beds were empty. After searching other rooms and corridors of the facility, they notified the authorities, who immediately deployed to capture them. In less than 24 hours the patients were found in their homes and returned to the isolation center. “The penal report has been made against these persons by the legal authorities and they have been charged,” said the prosecutor. Violating the sanitary provisions established in the middle of the epidemic of coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, constitutes a...

Havana in times of coronavirus. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

186 confirmed cases in Cuba for coronavirus; 6 deceased to date

This Tuesday, Cuba added 16 positive cases to the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of SARS-Cov-2 virus infections to 186, according to the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) at a press conference, where two new deaths were also reported. The figure, therefore, rises to 6 deaths from this disease. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1245006825952546817 Among the 16 confirmed new cases up until today, 14 are Cuban and two are foreigners. “Of the Cubans diagnosed, six have a source of infection abroad: United States (3), Spain, Canada and France (one each), seven had contact with confirmed cases and one was a contact of travelers from abroad (Spain),” explains the note that MINSAP also publishes on its website. Five are minors in this new group: two French children aged 11 and 14; and three Cubans, ages 8, 16 and 7. The 7-month-old girl, resident in Aguada de Pasajeros municipality, Cienfuegos, reported yesterday, continues to evolve favorably, and she is being treated with extreme care. It was also reported that of all those diagnosed on the island to date, 165 people present stable clinical evolution. Meanwhile, the death toll rose to six, after the two deaths reported yesterday. Both cases are Cubans: a 63-year-old patient, admitted...

Doctors and medical students, who carry out screenings in Havana to detect possible suspected cases of COVID-19. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Valencia considers requesting doctors from Cuba to face pandemic

The Generalitat Valenciana is contemplating the possibility of requesting health professionals from other countries, such as Cuba, if the situation caused by COVID-19 is prolonged, in order to guarantee the staff of the Community of Valencia “moments of rest” and that they don’t suffer as much pressure while providing care. This was stated this Monday at a press conference by Minister of Health Ana Barceló, who said that work is underway to ensure that at a certain time it may be necessary to “refresh” the local health teams due to the pressure of care and give them some time off. “There are hospitals that have more pressure and if this is prolonged, we need them not to live with so much pressure and have moments of rest,” according to the minister, who added that they have in mind “the possibility of being able to bring professionals from another country if necessary.” https://twitter.com/GVAsanitat/status/1244551416024367109?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1244551416024367109&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fcuba%2Fvalencia-considera-solicitar-medicos-a-cuba-para-enfrentar-la-pandemia%2F Barceló also affirmed that in principle the Generalitat would contemplate requesting reinforcements from Cuba, because of the language and to facilitate communication, but China and other countries are also considered, with professionals who speak English, but guaranteeing that there can be “fluid” communication with the Spanish staff. This...

This area of Havana at night, completely empty. A rare sight. Photo: Juan Carlos Petrirena.

Cubans start applauding doctors

A call was circulating yesterday on social networks for Cubans to go out to their balconies and windows to applaud the doctors who are already fighting against COVID-19. “Eternal applause to Cuban and world doctors. Today at 9.00 pm, just after the cannon blast, we pay tribute. A beautiful, moving gesture we’ll continue to repeat every night,” wrote Cuban journalist Raúl Rodríguez on his Facebook account. The date is at 9 at night, from now on, every day. It’s the emblematic hour for Havanans, after they hear the boom and feel the tremor that in many areas of the city left by the cannon blast, night after night, from the fortress of La Cabaña at the entrance to the bay. A custom that comes from the times of the colony, when the city was surrounded by a wall, and the cannon blast served to warn of the closing of its doors. “I just confessed it to some friends: I went out, applauded, and it was the moment of greatest happiness in the last days. Surely there will be more of us tomorrow,” wrote Tania Pino, professor at the Faculty of Communication at the University of Havana, also on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/camila.fernandezdelvalle/videos/2847871771968035/?t=0...

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