- May 27, 2020 -
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OnCuba Staff

OnCuba Staff

The country has processed a total of 98,381 tests, of which 1,974 have been positive, MINSAP reported today. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Cuba without deaths from coronavirus today, and reports 11 new infections

There were no deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours in Cuba and 11 people were diagnosed as positive; nine in Havana, one in Artemisa and another in Ciego de Ávila, as reported this morning by the authorities of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP). Four of the infections reported in the capital were related to the local transmission event that occurred in the well-known La Época shopping center, although the infections are limited to the municipalities of Cotorro, Cerro, Habana del Este, Playa and Old Havana. The case reported in Artemisa is also related to the La Época event. https://oncubanews.com/cuba/evento-de-transmision-de-covid-19-en-tienda-la-epoca-acumula-16-enfermos/ The eleven new infections correspond to Cubans, 10 of them were in contact with detected patients and seven are women. The most affected age groups were those between 40 and 60 years, with five cases, followed by those under 40, with four. Eight of these new patients were asymptomatic at the time of their diagnosis, a number that is increasing day by day in Cuba as in the world, said Dr. Francisco Durán, national director of epidemiology. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1265631989023080448?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1265631989023080448%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fcuba%2Fcuba-sin-fallecidos-por-coronavirus-hoy-y-reporta-11-nuevos-contagios%2F At the close of yesterday, 467 people were hospitalized for epidemiological clinical surveillance and 1,627 were under primary healthcare surveillance...

Photo: Shutterstock.

U.S. bans travel from Brazil

President Donald Trump extended travel restrictions from the countries most affected by the coronavirus by rejecting this Sunday the entry of foreigners coming from Brazil, which has the second largest number of confirmed cases of the disease, only behind the United States. Trump had already restricted certain travelers from China, Britain, Ireland and other countries in Europe and, to a lesser degree, from Iran. He hasn’t enforced travel bans from Russia, with the third highest number of infections on the planet. Last week the president said that he was considering limiting travel from Brazil. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said this Sunday’s measure is another of Trump’s decisive moves to protect the country. The president’s management in the face of the pandemic has been widely criticized. The United States has the highest number of infections worldwide with more than 1.6 million confirmed cases. The death toll is expected to soon exceed 100,000, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University. Brazil, the most affected country in Latin America, is second worldwide with more than 347,000 cases and more than 22,000 deaths. Third on the list is Russia, with more than 344,000 reported infections and at least 3,500 deaths. https://youtu.be/8jQkrPW6HKI...

So far the effects of the pandemic on the island have resulted in 82 deaths and 1,963 infections. The number of recovered patients is 1,709. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Of the 16 coronavirus positive cases reported today, 13 are from Havana

There was no death yesterday in Cuba and the number of reported infections was 16, most of them concentrated in Havana, according to the information offered today by Dr. Francisco Durán, national director of epidemiology of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP). Thirteen of the positive cases are from the capital, where the most affected municipalities were Centro Habana, Arroyo Naranjo, Diez de Octubre and Habana del Este. Matanzas, meanwhile, reported 3 patients, all in the provincial capital. With this new registration, infections in the capital amount to 955. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1265269037795282944?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1265269037795282944%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fcuba%2Fde-los-16-casos-positivos-al-coronavirus-reportados-hoy-13-son-de-la-habana%2F All the patients identified this time are Cuban, and 93% of them were related to confirmed cases. The number of women was higher than that of men (11-5) and the most affected age groups were between 40-59 years, with seven cases, followed by 20-39 years, with five. Fourteen of yesterday’s the SARS-CoV-2 virus positive cases were asymptomatic. So far the effects of the pandemic on the island have resulted in 82 deaths and 1,963 infections. The number of recovered patients is 1,709. https://oncubanews.com/especiales/especial-sobre-la-covid-19/ As of midnight on May 25, 434 patients were hospitalized for epidemiological clinical surveillance and 1,823 people were under primary healthcare surveillance in their homes.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, WHO director. Photo: Politico.

WHO decides to temporarily suspend hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients

The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed this Monday that the steering committee of the “Solidarity Trial,” which is seeking treatments for COVID-19, decided to temporarily suspend clinical trials with hydroxychloroquine. According to the WHO, an observational scientific study published this Friday by The Lancet on the effects of these drugs in hospitalized patients who took it shows that they had a higher mortality rate, said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, director of the WHO. Gebreyesus also stated that a steering committee, representing ten of the countries participating in the trial, agreed to make a comprehensive analysis and critical evaluation of all available global evidence on the use of hydroxychloroquine. The review will consider the data collected to date, particularly random data, in order to adequately assess that drug’s potential benefits and harms. Although a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm has been implemented within the global clinical trial, the other planned drugs will continue to be tested. The WHO director said that the Solidarity Trial had started more than two months ago to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four drugs and drug combinations against COVID-19, and added that more than 400 hospitals in 35 countries are recruiting patients and there...

Members of the Cuban medical brigade in Andorra. Photo: @Gustavo Machín/Facebook.

Part of Cuban medical brigade in Andorra will return home

Part of the Cuban medical brigade that collaborated in the struggle against COVID-19 in Andorra, will return to the island in the coming days, according to press reports of the European principality. The Andorran government carried out a farewell ceremony this Sunday for the 13 Cuban health professionals who are returning to their country in the coming days, according to the Diario de Andorra, which specifies that on May 15 three collaborators from the island had already left. The official farewell was attended by authorities from the principality―among them the ministers of health and foreign affairs―and the Cuban Consul General in Barcelona, ​​Alain González, and took place at the Panorama Hotel in the parish of Escaldes-Engordany, where Cubans were accommodated during their stay in Andorra. Before, the Cuban health workers toured “the most iconic and emblematic places in the Principality,” the publication reported, citing among the visited places the Casa del Valle, the surroundings of the Canillo church, the Sanctuary of Meritxell and the Grau Roig area. The tour “continued to comply with adequate safety and hygiene measures to prevent any risk of contagion by coronavirus,” noted the Diario de Andorra. https://oncubanews.com/en/cuba/cuban-doctors-are-bid-farewell-with-lombardys-applause/ The Cuban brigade that traveled to the European...

President Jair Bolsonaro touching his facemask during a protest against the Federal Supreme Court and the National Congress in Brasilia. Photo: André Borges/AP.

Coronavirus: no new cases reported in China, but increasing in Latin America

New coronavirus cases dropped to zero in China for the first time this Saturday, but they increased in India. In Latin America, hospitals were overwhelmed by the amount of patients, both in countries lax with respect to quarantines and in those that have been praised for adopting firm measures of social distancing. Many governments are easing restrictions as they face historic recessions caused by the pandemic. Its persistence has placed the authorities in the dilemma of finding a balance between the urgency to revive the economy and the fear of health risks. China did not report any contagion this Saturday for the first time since the start of the pandemic, which emerged there late last year. Mariachis protect themselves with facemasks in Plaza Garibaldi, in Mexico City. Photo: Eduardo Verdugo/AP. In South Korea, there were 23 new cases, mostly in the densely populated metropolitan area of ​​the capital Seoul, where authorities closed thousands of nightclubs, bars, and karaoke rooms to curb transmissions. In early March, South Korea reported around 500 new cases daily until it began to use an aggressive tracking and testing policy to stabilize the outbreak. More than 200 of the latest infections were...

Yesterday, the number of hospitalized patients dropped to 445, but five people were reported in serious condition. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Cuba reports 6 new positive cases and no deaths from coronavirus in the last 24 hours

The update offered by the health authorities on the effect of the coronavirus on the Cuban population today reported 6 new positive cases and no deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 82, while the total number of infections is already 1,947. Five of the new infections were detected in Havana, in the municipalities of Diez de Octubre, Cerro, Old Havana and Centro Habana; one occurred in Ciego de Ávila, in the municipality of Morón. They are all Cubans and five were related to confirmed cases. The source of infection was not specified in one individual. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1264906040669241345?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1264906040669241345%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fcuba%2Fcuba-reporta-6-nuevos-casos-positivos-y-ningun-fallecido-por-coronavirus-en-las-ultimas-24-horas%2F Of the six new cases, there were equal numbers of men and women. The most affected age group is concentrated between 40 and 60 years, with four cases, followed by the under 40 age group, with two. Five people in this group were asymptomatic. At the close of yesterday, May 24, 1,996 people were under primary healthcare surveillance in their homes. The country has processed a total of 95,511 tests, of which 1,947 have been positive. Only yesterday, 1,451 were made, according to the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) authorities.

The coronavirus outbreak in a Santa Clara home for the elderly left a balance of 66 patients, three of whom died. Photo: cmhw.cu

All COVID-19 patients from Santa Clara Home for the Elderly discharged

This Friday the last cured COVID-19 patient was discharged, of those linked to the coronavirus local transmission event that occurred in the Home for the Elderly No. 3, Santa Clara, in the Cuban province of Villa Clara. The coronavirus outbreak in that home was the largest transmission event recorded in Cuba so far, and left a balance of 19 workers and 47 elderly people who were infected, three of whom died, the official Granma newspaper reported. https://oncubanews.com/en/cuba/covid-19-outbreak-reported-in-santa-clara-nursing-home/ According to the director of the Provincial Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology, Neil Reyes, right now another 82 elderly people belonging to the center remain under “strict care” at the Marta Abreu Special School for Children with Physical-Motor Limitations, provisionally fitted out to host a part of them. Meanwhile, another 29 are kept under surveillance at the Rolando Pérez Quintosa Special School. The fact that only three of the patients that caused the contagious outbreak in the center have died shows the “colossal effort” of the Cuban health system to save COVID-19 patients, taking into account that this disease attacks the elderly with greater force, said Dr. Reyes. He also stressed that all of the workers affected by the disease are already...

Photo: Flickr.

Cuba: stem cells used in people convalescing from new coronavirus

The National Institute of Hematology and Immunology started a clinical trial to use stem cells in people convalescing from the new coronavirus. According to Dr. Consuelo Macías Abraham, director of that institution, it is about the use of adult stem cells in COVID-19 patients who have lung lesions. “We have been able to include in the study patients classified as seriously and critically ill while hospitalized who had acute respiratory symptoms. It has been possible to appreciate in them the permanence of inflammatory or fibrotic lesions, after effects of the infection by the new coronavirus, detected by means of high-resolution Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT),” she said. Photo: FB. She specified that the aim is to eliminate or reduce post-infection pulmonary interstitial or fibrotic inflammatory lesions, preventing the progression of the disease and improving the person’s quality of life. This treatment will benefit all critically and seriously ill patients with proven lung lesions. “We have already treated patients from Havana and patients from other provinces are being recruited.” Lastly, she said that “the trial marks the beginning of the care of the recovered patient in the national health system, including the primary level, with a comprehensive first-level...

People on the streets of Havana during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Cuba: 15 new infections and no deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours

The Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) reported 15 new COVID-19 patients in the last 24 hours, in which there were no deaths due to the disease, according to Dr. Francisco Durán, national director of epidemiology. With the new positive cases, the number of infections on the island totaled 1,931, of which 177 remain hospitalized, Dr. Durán said at the daily press conference on the pandemic in Cuba. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1264185656156266497?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1264185656156266497%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fcuba%2Fcuba-15-nuevos-contagios-y-ningun-fallecido-por-covid-19-durante-las-ultimas-24-horas%2F Of the 15 patients diagnosed with the coronavirus this Friday, nine were women (60%) and six (40%) men. In Havana, 13 new cases were confirmed, five of them from the Centro Habana municipality. The other two are from Matanzas and Ciego de Ávila, the latter linked to the local transmission event registered in the town of Turiguanó, in the municipality of Morón. Two children were confirmed: one 7 years old and the other 16, although the most affected age group was 40 to 60 years, with eight cases (53.3%); 60% (9) of the positive cases were asymptomatic, according to official figures. After 40 new medical discharges in the last 24 hours, in Cuba the number of patients recovered from the disease reached 1,671. At the close of Friday, 631 patients hospitalized...

ETECSA officials explained that there was no “wrong pricing” in the consumption of the most recent recharge’s data voucher. Photo: @ETECSA_Cuba/Twitter.

ETECSA: no “wrong pricing” in consumption of data voucher

In the face of the increase in customer complaints indicating the rapid consumption of the one giga voucher of the most recent international recharge promoted by Cuba’s Telecommunications Enterprise S.A. (ETECSA), the entity’s officials explained this Wednesday that there was no anomaly nor was there a “wrong pricing.” The state enterprise’s director of operation and maintenance, Kevin Castro, justified what had happened, affirming that many people “have confused this recharge voucher with the LTE voucher, which is applied to some of the data packages that ETECSA offers today,” Cubadebate reported. He explained that users compared the one giga voucher with that of the data package that includes the purchase of one giga―for 10 Cuban convertible pesos (CUC)―and is rewarded with an additional voucher of equal value to consume on the LTE network, plus the 300 megabytes available for national navigation, which as a whole gives a value of 2.3 gigabytes. The enterprise, which has a monopoly over telecommunications in Cuba, for the first time added in its international recharges a one-giga-data voucher for internet connection through mobile devices. However, its rapid consumption by many customers generated suspicions and criticism on social networks. Castro clarified that the offered voucher now consumes...

Havana and Matanzas, provinces that once again are the only ones to report new cases of COVID-19. MINSAP reported today one death and eight infections. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Coronavirus in Cuba to date: 81 deaths and 1916 infections

The data updated today by the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) on COVID-19 in Cuba are as follows: one death, eight new infections, 28 discharges, one person in critical condition and 2 in serious condition. The death was reported in Matanzas and corresponds to a 55-year-old man who was in critical condition since yesterday. His evolution is explained by the MINSAP authorities in today’s medical report. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1263822605376724993?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1263822605376724993%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fcuba%2Fcoronavirus-en-cuba-hasta-la-fecha-81-muertes-y-1916-contagios%2F The eight new infections are Cuban, all were related to detected patients and of that total, five are men. The most affected age group was 40 to 60 years, with six patients. Four individuals were asymptomatic. The only provinces to report cases of new coronavirus infections today were Havana, with five, and Matanzas, with three. By midnight May 21, the number of people hospitalized for clinical epidemiological care had dropped again, now to 669; meanwhile, 1,790 were under primary healthcare surveillance in their homes. https://oncubanews.com/especiales/especial-sobre-la-covid-19/ The country has processed 90,911 tests, of which 1,916 have been positive.

Photo: Pedro Chavedar/Archive.

Cuba stopped producing some 7,000 tons of pork in first quarter of year

In the first quarter of this year, some 7,000 tons of pork, one of the foods most in demand by Cubans, were not produced in Cuba, according to executives from the island’s agricultural sector. Regla Ferrer, national director for pork production of the Livestock Higher Organization of Business Management (OSDE), belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture, said that the monthly production volumes of this product remain above 9,000, “a figure much lower than the more than 12,000 tons required,” the official daily Granma reported. Ferrer explained that the production of pork has been depressed “due to the low availability of animal feed accessible to producers, a phenomenon that affects the meat mass stipulated for each specimen before its marketing.” He also said that liquid feed, “one of the promising alternatives being undertaken,” could not continue being used in animal feed due to the paralysis of tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “because this sector provided the grosss of organic raw material for the elaboration of said feed.” This is why a breach of the previewed plan for the year is already foreseen, which had been 170,000 tons. As a palliative, she commented, “emphasis has been placed on the sowing of...

Chinese ambassador in Havana Chen Xi (2-right), Cuban Deputy Minister of Public Health Luis Fernando Navarro (right), Cuban First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Ana Teresita González (2-left), show the masks during a ceremony for the donation of medical supplies from China. Photo: Xinhua/Joaquín Hernández.

Another Chinese donation of medical supplies for Cuba

The government of the People’s Republic of China, the Yutong bus company and the Red Cross handed over to the Cuban health authorities another donation comprising medical supplies to cope with the new coronavirus. The donation includes 4,000 diagnostic tests donated by the Chinese Embassy in Havana and 100,000 dollars sent to the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) by the Chinese Red Cross, in addition to three million face masks, 100,000 surgical gloves, 10,000 protective suits and an equal number of protective glasses delivered by the Yutong Company. According to the Xinhua press agency, the ceremony to hand over the donation took place in one of the MINSAP warehouses, during which the Chinese ambassador in Havana, Chen Xi, recalled that “Cuba has been able to effectively confront and control the spread of the pandemic, confirmed cases tend to decline markedly and recovered cases increase consecutively.” For her part, Cuban First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Ana Teresita González said in her official account on Twitter that the donation constitutes one more example of solidarity and brotherhood between both countries, on the 60th anniversary of the establishment diplomatic relations. https://oncubanews.com/cuba/cuba-recibe-decenas-de-miles-de-mascarillas-donadas-por-china/ Ambassador Chen and Deputy Minister González signed the minutes...

Yesterday there were 30 medical discharges, one patient in critical condition and 4 in serious condition. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Cuba reports one deceased from COVID-19, after a week without deaths

One death and 8 infections from COVID-19 were reported today by the health authorities in Cuba, data that brings the numbers of deaths to 80 and infections on the island to 1,908 due to the pandemic. The only victim yesterday was related to the outbreak that occurred at the Cotorro Social Protection Center that, weeks ago, shot up the rates of infection in Havana. This is a 78-year-old wandering man, with a previous medical history and “severe malnutrition,” according to Dr. Francisco Durán, national director of epidemiology. https://oncubanews.com/en/cuba/transmission-event-in-social-center-triggers-covid-19-cases-in-havana/ The infections occurred in Havana (6) and Matanzas (2), all correspond to Cubans; seven of them were related to detected patients and the source of infection is not specified in one individual. In this group there were equal numbers of men and women; and by age groups, four are between 40 and 59 years old and two between 20 and 39 years old. The new figures include the case of a six-month-old baby girl residing in Matanzas. At midnight on May 20, the number of people hospitalized for clinical epidemiological care had dropped to 689, while those under primary healthcare surveillance at home totaled 1,697. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1263457682910072832?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1263457682910072832%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fcuba%2Fcuba-reporta-el-fallecimiento-de-una-persona-por-covid-19-tras-una-semana-sin-muertes%2F According to MINSAP, the country has...

Damage caused by a severe local storm in Ciego de Ávila, in central Cuba. Photo: Invasor/Facebook.

Strong storms cause damage to homes and others in Cuban towns

Two strong storms that occurred this Monday afternoon left damages to homes and others in towns in central Cuba. Fortunately, no victims were reported. A first severe local storm occurred around 4:30 p.m. in the Ceballos People’s Council, in the municipality of Ciego de Ávila, and caused “considerable damage to homes, crop houses and plantations,” the Agencia Cubana de Noticias (ACN) news agency reported. The meteorological event hit with “strong winds ranging between 80 and 90 kilometers per hour, heavy rain and large-size hail” and, according to preliminary data from the Municipal Defense Council, caused 19 partial roof collapses in the Loma de la Carolina and another 10 in the El Purial area. In addition, it damaged 21 crop houses, a store, two laboratories and electrical and telephone interruptions in several communities, while “damaging some 70 hectares of mango destined for export, from the Ceballos Agro-industrial Enterprise.” https://www.facebook.com/invasorpresss/posts/3174422729462096 The greatest damage to mango is concentrated in the Marsella farm, “where 60% of the fruit fell, which is already being collected to process as much as possible in the industrial compound,” the ACN specified. According to testimonies from residents of Loma de la Carolina, the storm “developed very quickly, with little...

Havana and Matanzas, the provinces that reported new infections until midnight yesterday. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

A week without deaths in Cuba from COVID-19

Cuba maintains control over COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) daily morning report. In fact, the figures reported today continue to account for that control, achieving a week without deaths from the pandemic, while the new infections totaled 13, seven more than the previous day. They are Cubans, of whom 9 had some type of contact with confirmed cases, while in four individuals the source of infection was not specified. One of them was detected in the health personnel’s population study carried out with asymptomatic people, said Dr. Francisco Durán, national director of epidemiology. https://oncubanews.com/especiales/especial-sobre-la-covid-19/ Of the 13 new infections, 9 were detected in men; and, by age group, the most affected were: under 40 (9; of them: two children, 8 and 12 years old) and between 40 and 60 (4). Thirty-five medical discharges were reported, two patients were in critical condition and six were in serious condition. At midnight yesterday, 817 people were hospitalized for clinical epidemiological care and another 2,289 were under primary healthcare surveillance in their homes. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1263106275727994880 To date the country has processed a total of 87,288 tests, of which 1,900 have been positive.

In the photo, from left to right, Cubans Jesús Arrechea, Rafael Ajijunco, Yunieisi de la Caridad Izquierdo with her son Elier Arrechea Izquierdo, Pedro Luis García and Yuvani Marquetti Elías pose in a house in Moscow. Photo: EFE/Fernando Salcines.

More Cuban “tourists” in Russia’s limbo

More than a hundred Cubans who’re in the business of reselling merchandise, known on the island as “mules,” are still stranded in Moscow, a city they barely know and where a language they don’t master is spoken. The coronavirus pandemic has left them trapped: the city closed its land and air borders, and has imposed confinements to stop COVID-19, which prevents them from working to survive or returning home. “People who travel to Russia to buy merchandise for Cuba usually come for seven days, because a long stay does not give them a profit,” explains Pedro Luis García, a Cuban who has lived in Moscow for eight years and supports his fellow citizens with legal advice and food aid. Now, many have been locked up for almost two months, with no money to eat or pay the rent. They also have no return date in sight. García indicates that more than 20 people can live in just one apartment in rooms with three or four bunkbeds and with the corridors full of bales with merchandise. But, those who return are not the only Cubans who find themselves in a difficult situation in Russia due to the restrictions imposed to contain...

Sixth day without deaths in Cuba by COVID-19. The death toll to date is 79 victims, and the number of patients stands at 1,887. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Coronavirus in Cuba continues declining: no deaths and 6 infections reported today

The COVID-19 outbreak in Cuba is, according to all reports, under control. In a press conference, the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) authorities reported today’s figures and only 6 new infections are added. At the close of midnight yesterday, no death occurred for the sixth day in a row on the island due to the disease, the number of deaths remaining at 79 and that of patients at 1,887. The new infections were from Havana, Matanzas and Villa Clara, all three with two cases each. Of this total, four people were asymptomatic and all had had contact with positive cases. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1262730536352714753 At midnight on May 18, when MINSAP prepared this report, 824 people were hospitalized for clinical epidemiological care and another 2,353 were under primary healthcare surveillance in their homes. To date the country has processed a total of 85,556 tests, of which 2.2% have been positive.

Cuban professionals in Lombardy. Roberto Arias, third from the right. Photo: AFP/MIGUEL MEDINA, via: Loop News.

Cuban doctors in Lombardy: “Here we go again,” Roberto Arias says every morning

Roberto Arias Hernández is 28 years old, has an eleven-month-old baby in Cuba and is part of the medical contingent providing aid in northern Italy. There he is fighting against the COVID-19. “We are simply doctors and today we have had to play our role more than ever,” he told AFP in an interview that is already being reproduced by several media in the world. “We are fighting a pandemic and we are the ones who act in the face of this situation,” he said. The conversation takes place shortly before starting his day at the Crema hospital, in the heart of Lombardy, the region hardest hit by the new coronavirus. “The Italian people’s reception has been very warm. People hang posters on the windows of their houses with ‘Thank you Cuba, thank you Cuba,’” says Roberto Arias, a Cuban doctor in Lombardy. Photo: AFP/Miguel Medina, via France24. It is Arias’ first internationalist mission, although not for many of the 51 contingent specialists; more than half faced Ebola in Africa. “Fear is always felt,” he confesses: “The feeling is that you want to do it, but you are also afraid of not living up to it.”...

Seismograph. Photo: comofunciona.co.com

More than 20 earthquakes and a tornado in eastern Cuba

More than 20 earthquakes, some of them perceptible, and a tornado that caused material damage, were reported this Sunday in eastern Cuba. According to the National Center for Seismological Research (CENAIS), until 7:30 pm (local time), 21 telluric movements had been registered in the eastern part of the island, “some of them perceptible by the population,” in what is classified as “anomalous seismic activity.” The earthquakes were felt in the municipalities of Guamá, Palma Soriano, Tercer Frente, Contramaestre and Santiago de Cuba, in the province of Santiago de Cuba, in the municipalities of Media Luna, Bayamo and Bartolomé Masó, in the province of Granma, and in the city of Guantánamo in the province of the same name, reported CENAIS, which explains that so far no victims or material damage have been reported as a result of the quakes. https://www.facebook.com/enriquediego.arangoarias/posts/3049320251853458 The largest of the tremors had a magnitude of 4.6 degrees and was recorded at 4:47 pm. It was located 20 kilometers south-southwest of the Santiago town of Chivirico, and just two hours later, a 4.2-magnitude aftershock was recorded. Both earthquakes are considered the seventh and eighth perceptible this year. This seismicity, points out CENAIS, “corresponds to an activation of a...

Havana and Villa Clara were the provinces that reported most of the new infections today, with 3 each; Pinar del Río, Matanzas and Las Tunas only registered one each. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Fifth day without deaths and COVID-19 infections in Cuba drop to nine

Five consecutive days without COVID-19 leaving deaths in Cuba. “It’s not to be over-confident, but it is the result of popular participation,” said Francisco Durán, national director of epidemiology, at the press conference of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) morning briefing. Meanwhile, the number of infections fell to 9; all were Cuban and, in total, 8 were detected without symptoms. Four of them were related to patients, while in five individuals the source of infection was not specified. “It is the result of the search for the disease,” said Durán, stressing that just yesterday 1,951 tests had been processed. Those identified as affected by the new coronavirus to date number 1,881, and the death toll remains at 79. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1262372037491929089 Havana and Villa Clara were the provinces that reported most of the new infections, with 3 each; Pinar del Río, Matanzas and Las Tunas only registered one each. With yesterday’s 10 discharges, 1,505 patients have recovered from the pandemic on the island, and two patients are reported in critical condition and seven in serious condition. At the close of midnight yesterday, May 17, 970 people were hospitalized for clinical epidemiological surveillance and another 2,293 were under primary healthcare surveillance in...

A person with a face mask walks across the nearly empty Westminster Bridge with Parliament in the background. London, Friday March 20, 2020. Photo: Matt Dunham/AP.

Cubans residing in United Kingdom raise more than 30,000 dollars to combat COVID-19 in Cuba

Cubans living in the United Kingdom raised more than 30,000 dollars to support the fight against the coronavirus epidemic on the island, according to an association that brings them together on the social media. “The Association of Cubans in the UK thanks all the people and organizations that contributed to the collection of more than 25,000 pounds sterling to help patients with COVID-19 in Cuba,” the group reported on its Facebook profile. About 26,000 pounds was collected, almost 31,500 dollars, according to a report by Prensa Latina (PL) news agency. https://www.facebook.com/cubanos.enuk/posts/1622162364625848 The campaign, an initiative of two Cuban doctors, started 28 days ago and its objective is “to acquire components of the artificial respirators that Cuba cannot buy due to the U.S. blockade,” says PL, which explains that among the donors were figures such as Lord David Triesman, co-president of the Cuba Initiative, dedicated to promoting trade between the United Kingdom and Cuba. In this regard, Triesman commented that it is crazy that a people that contributes so much to world pharmaceutical and medical aid has to suffer from the shortage of equipment in these terrible times. For her part, Daniesky Acosta, president of the Association of Cubans in the...

The new infections occurred in Havana and Matanzas. Cuba has reported 1,872 patients with the new coronavirus. Photo: EFE/Yander Zamora.

Fourth day without deaths from COVID-19 in Cuba

The data referring to COVID-19 in Cuba, which the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) reports , remain in a zone of stability, and low. For the fourth consecutive day, no deaths were reported and there were 10 new infections. “It is somewhat encouraging that, despite the critical cases and the serious cases, lives are managed to be saved,” said Dr. Francisco Durán, national director of epidemiology, who recalled that, nevertheless, the pandemic has left 79 deaths on the island. The new infections occurred in Havana and Matanzas. They are Cubans, of which 80% had a relationship with confirmed cases; and only in two individuals was the source of infection not specified. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1262007206284853251 There were equal numbers of men and women among the new patients; and by age groups, the most affected are concentrated in those under 40, with 5 individuals, and in those over 60, with 4; 60% of the positive cases were asymptomatic. Yesterday, 35 people were discharged, making up a total of 1,495 recovered. Three critically ill patients and seven seriously ill patients are reported. https://oncubanews.com/especiales/especial-sobre-la-covid-19/ At midnight on May 16, 1,448 people were hospitalized for clinical epidemiological surveillance and another 3,249 were under primary healthcare surveillance in...

Photo from January 17, 2020 showing the facilities of the Memories Trinidad del Mar Hotel, in the city of Trinidad, in Sancti Spíritus. EFE/Yander Zamora.

Cuba’s borders will remain closed; tourism prepares for reopening

The Cuban Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) confirmed this Friday that the island’s borders will remain closed until the government indicates it, but assured that it is preparing its facilities for when the time for reopening comes. An official note from the MINTUR, published on its social networks and in the island’s media, states that “for the sake of protecting national health security,” which it considers a “fundamental premise of the Cuban State,” “our borders will not be opened, nor will tourist services be activated, until indicated by the government of the Republic of Cuba.” However, it notes that “taking into account the current situation of this disease’s development in Cuba and in the world, the Ministry of Tourism is focused on continuous improvement of hotel and non-hotel facilities.” In addition, it reports that it is working “on the elaboration of hygiene and sanitary protocols, to face the restart of tourist activities.” Check Ministry of Tourism´s tweet here Tourism is a vital source of income for Cuba, which since before the spread of COVID-19 was already going through a complex economic situation aggravated by the embargo and the new U.S. sanctions, several of them focused on the tourism sector, such as...

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