- May 28, 2020 -
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OnCuba Staff

OnCuba Staff

The provinces that detected new infections yesterday were Havana (16), Matanzas (1), Santiago de Cuba (1) and the Isla de la Juventud (1). Photo: EFE/Ernesto Mastrascusa/Archive.

Number of COVID-19 infections in Cuba falls to 19; two new deceased

Today’s update: 2 deaths and 19 new COVID-19 infections in Cuba, according to the authorities of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP). The number of patients, which dropped again, now amounts to 1,668 people, while 69 have died due to the pandemic. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1257314682831908864 Those who died at the close of midnight on May 3 were a 79-year-old woman, previously afflicted with lung cancer, hypertension and obesity, and an 82-year-old man with a history of prostate cancer and frequent respiratory infections. The medical evolution of both appears in the MINSAP report. The 19 new infections correspond to Cubans, of which 13 had links to confirmed cases; meanwhile, in 6 individuals the source of infection has not been identified; 16 of them were asymptomatic. The provinces that detected new infections were Havana (16), Matanzas (1), Santiago de Cuba (1) and the Isla de la Juventud (1). Forty-nine patients were discharged yesterday, to join a list of recoveries totaling 876 people. Three patients were reported in critical condition and six in serious condition. Until the closure of the information collected by the MINSAP, 2,543 people remained hospitalized, while 6,188 people were under primary healthcare surveillance. To date, Cuba has processed 55,542 tests. Only...

A group of 83 Cubans stranded in different regions of Ecuador returned to the island on a humanitarian flight managed by the Caribbean diplomatic authorities in the Andean country. Photo: Taken from Prensa Latina.

A group of 83 Cubans stranded in Ecuador returns to the island

A Cubana de Aviación flight brought back to the island 83 citizens who were stuck in Ecuador due to the coronavirus pandemic. The IL-96 aircraft that carried out the transfer had previously returned to that Andean nation about 200 Ecuadorians stranded in Cuba. The operation was carried out this Saturday without any complications, organized by the island’s embassy in Quito and its consulate, and supported by the representatives of Cubana de Aviación in Ecuador, where the company only works with cargo. From the Mariscal Sucre International Airport, in the Ecuadorian capital, the flight departed with a group of Cubans who were scattered throughout different provinces of the South American nation, which closed its borders in mid-March, when it also limited inter-provincial mobility and public events. These Cubans were waiting for the resumption of commercial operations, but the Ecuadorian government has decided to extend the closure of its borders throughout the month of May. The only option left then was a repatriation flight, as had happened with the stranded Cubans in Peru and Guyana. Although this humanitarian flight is a relief for all those who boarded, there are still pending requests from Cubans interested in traveling to their places of origin,...

Photo: AFP.

What is known about the man who attacked the Cuban embassy in the United States?

The day after the attack on the Cuban embassy in Washington DC not much is known about the shooter, except that his name is Alexander Alazo, he is 42 years old and resides in Aubrey, a town located about 50 miles north of Dallas, Texas. Public records show that he has connections to Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida. According to those public records, to which The Miami Herald daily had access, Alazo lived in Florida in Miami-Dade and Broward counties between 2011 and 2017, the latter year when he moved to Texas. He has no criminal record and is licensed to practice as a masseuse, first issued in Florida and then renewed in Texas. According to a Secret Service spokeswoman, he was arrested on charges of possession of unregistered firearms and ammunition, assault with the intent to kill, and possession of a high-capacity weapon. https://youtu.be/cWm_VRB2Qys CCN # 20065452 of the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department states that at the time of his arrest, to which he had no posed resistance, an AK-47 assault rifle, ammunition, and “a white powder substance were confiscated in a small sachet.” The initial judicial hearing of his case was postponed yesterday, Thursday, April 30, in the...

Havana in times of coronavirus. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Transmission event in social center triggers COVID-19 cases in Havana

A COVID-19 transmission event at a homeless center triggered the daily count of new coronavirus infections in Havana and, consequently, in Cuba, where a new record of 74 positive cases was reported in one day. Of the 74 patients―all Cubans―58 cases are related to an outbreak of the virus in a social home that cares for homeless people, among other groups, located in the Havana municipality of Cotorro, said Dr. Francisco Durán, director of epidemiology of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), in the televised daily report. This Friday, another 14 new positive cases and one deceased linked to this social center had already been reported. The 58 patients related to this site announced this Saturday by the MINSAP, are men and are between 48 and 84 years old. More than half (32) are over 60. According to Dr. Carlos Alberto Martínez, provincial director of health in Havana, none of them belongs to other open events in places where a greater number of cases were concentrated in the island’s capital. https://oncubanews.com/en/cuba/cuba-reports-its-highest-number-of-coronavirus-infections-in-one-day-74/ This Saturday, the Provincial Defense Council “analyzed the characteristics and measures applied to these patients,” reported the newspaper Tribuna de La Habana, without giving further details. Out of the...

Several cars pass in front of the Havana Cruise Terminal. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa/EFE.

Title III of the Helms-Burton Act turns one year in force

Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which allows U.S. citizens to sue companies that profit from nationalized properties in Cuba, this Saturday marks its first year in force without an avalanche of lawsuits, but with negative effects on foreign investment on the island. Amazon, Visa, BBVA, MasterCard, Barceló, Pernod, Meliá, Expedia, Iberostar, Accor, Royal Caribbean, NH Hoteles, Trivago and MSC are some of the more than fifty companies that were initially sued, although some of them have since been excluded for diverse reasons. So far, only 25 Title III lawsuits have been filed against 51 companies, some of them included in several legal actions, of which 45.4% are from the United States and the rest from ten different countries, including Cuba. Of the claims, 11.3% are against companies from countries of the European Union and among them the Spanish ones are the most numerous. These figures are from the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, a private entity that has compiled all the information from the first year of its coming into force. In an anniversary article, the Council wonders if President Donald Trump’s decision to activate Title III has been a “judicial or political” success, but it does not hesitate...

Photo: Air China.

New batch of medical supplies from China arrives in Havana

A batch of medical supplies donated by former Chinese students in Cuba and several companies in that country is being processed by the Ministry of Public Health for distribution in hospitals coping with the coronavirus. These are 258,000 facemasks, 62,000 pairs of gloves, 40,000 protective suits, 9,600 medical bed liners, 1,400 blankets and 600 infrared thermometers with spare batteries. “Now we’re organizing it according to the instructions of MINSAP, and then we will begin the distribution,” said the director of EMSUME, Dr. Rolando Rederos. Photo: Xinjua. The donation of the former Chinese students in Cuba was coordinated by Chen Ke, a young man who studied a Spanish language degree in Havana between 2009-2013, and now works the Latin American market in a tourism company. “When we found out that Cuba needed medical supplies to deal with the epidemic, we came up with the idea of ​​organizing the donation,” Chen said. To buy the supplies, in two weeks they raised about 20,000 dollars, donated by almost 300 people, most of them former scholarship students in Cuba. “We have a deep affection for this country, where we learned to share and be united,” Chen said.

Coronavirus cases continue to increase in Cuba, where many people don’t comply with physical distance measures. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Coronavirus in Cuba: 38 new infections, one deceased and 62 discharges

The Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) reported this Sunday 38 infections of the new coronavirus, so the number of confirmed cases on the Island amounted to 1,649, while one deceased and 62 medical discharges were reported at the close of Saturday, May 2. Dr. Francisco Durán, director of epidemiology of MINSAP, specified in a press conference that there are five people in critical condition and eight in serious condition. The remaining 740 active cases show a stable clinical evolution. The MINSAP report specifies that a total of 2,744 patients are hospitalized and there are 1,947 suspects, while another 6,515 people are under primary healthcare surveillance in their homes. Of the new 38 positives cases, 36 are contacts of already confirmed patients and the source of infection of two is being investigated. Cuban health authorities began to report cases without a specified source of infection on April 5, the date on which 207 positive patients with these characteristics have been reported. However, Dr. Durán explained that of this number, there are only 63 patients with no identified sources of infection. https://oncubanews.com/cuba/centro-habana-la-vida-sigue-igual/ On the other hand, 89.4% (34) of Saturday’s cases were asymptomatic. According to the daily report of MINSAP, 668...

Taking the temperature before testing for COVID-19, in a section of Los Sitios, in Havana. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Cuba reports its highest number of coronavirus infections in one day: 74

The Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) reported this Saturday its highest number of new cases of COVID-19 in one day, with 74, which is why the total number of people infected on the island rose to 1,611. In addition, this Friday, May 1, two deaths occurred and there were 51 new discharges, bringing the total number of deaths to 66 and the recovered patients 765, a figure similar to that of patients who remain hospitalized (778). Of the latter, 767 remain stable, while four are in critical condition and seven are in serious condition, according to the MINSAP report. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1256595713607294979 As for this Friday’s new cases, the 74 were detected after 2,097 tests were made and all are Cuban. Of these, 70 (94.6%) were contacts of confirmed cases and in 4 (5.4%) the source of infection is not specified. Of these cases, 65 (87.8%) were men and 9 (12.2%) women. The most affected age groups were: the group of 40 to 60 years with 32 cases (43.2%), followed by those over 60 with 30 cases (40.5%). MINSAP specifies that 87.8% (65) of the positive cases were asymptomatic. By provinces, Havana once again captured the majority of new infections, with...

The women’s brigade to Trinidad and Tobago. Photo: ACN.

First Cuban medical brigade made up only of women arrives in Trinidad and Tobago

The first Henry Reeve Contingent medical brigade made up only of women arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on May 1 to help combat COVID-19. The group’s coordinator, Yaquelín Ramírez Díaz, said that they will work with the professionalism that characterizes them and that they will face the pandemic along with another brigade that is providing services in that Caribbean nation. https://youtu.be/mgI8a6TnVFw In Trinidad and Tobago, they will work in the intensive care services. They have received courses on the behavior of the COVID-19, the necessary protection measures and the protocol to follow. Since the pandemic began, Cuba has sent 25 brigades totaling more than 2,000 doctors and health workers to different countries in the Caribbean and Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, including Italy, Andorra, South Africa, Qatar, Angola, Honduras, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, Grenada and Belize.

Yesterday, April 30, 36 infections were detected and three deaths from COVID-19 occurred in Cuba. Photo: EFE.

April closes for Cuba with 1,537 cases of coronavirus

April, Cuba’s second month in its fight against COVID-19, closed with 1,537 infections and 64 deaths, according to the daily report by the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP). Yesterday 36 infections were detected and three deaths occurred. The deaths are limited to Havana, specifically the municipalities of Habana del Este, Old Havana and Cotorro: an 86-year-old man, a 72-year-old woman and a 58-year-old man, respectively. Its medical file can be consulted in the MINSAP report. The residence by province and municipality of the 36 confirmed cases, all Cuban, is distributed as follows: Havana: 29 cases (14 from Cotorro municipality; 5 from Centro Habana municipality; 4 from San Miguel del Padrón municipality. Boyeros, Arroyo Naranjo, Old Havana, Cerro, Guanabacoa, Habana del Este municipalities, 1 each). Matanzas: 3 cases (Martí, Matanzas and Jovellanos municipalities, 1 each). Villa Clara: 1 case (from the municipality of Manicaragua). Sancti Spíritus: 3 cases (from Cabaiguán municipality). https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1256243895857528833 Of the total of new patients, 86.1% were contacts of confirmed cases, while the source of infection was not specified in 13.8% of them; 29 are male and the most affected age groups are concentrated between 40 and 60 years, with 16 cases, followed by those over 60, with...

Cuba released in March and April 421 people serving provisional prison and they will now await trial in their homes with the “relevant restrictions.” Photo: @hacemos_cuba/Twitter.

More than 6,500 prisoners released in Cuba in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic

The Cuban authorities have released 6,579 prisoners in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which until this Thursday had left 61 dead and 1,500 positive cases on the island, where heavy penalties are applied for crimes involving the spread of epidemics and no positive cases have yet been reported in prisons. The president of the Criminal Court of the Cuban Supreme Court, Otto Molina, specified that in March and April 421 people who were serving provisional prison were released and will now await trial in their homes with the “relevant restrictions,” while another 6,158 were granted early release. In the case of the latter, “the Court appreciated that with the time (of the sentence) served it is not necessary to reach the end of the sentence in confinement” and decided to grant parole and extra-penal licenses to the prisoners, explained Molina on Cuban state television. Cuba is in the limited local transmission phase of the COVID-19 and the government maintains strong measures that include the limitation of movements, the suspension of public transportation, the closure of borders, and the closure of large shopping centers, although not yet decreeing the mandatory confinement. The Cuban authorities assure that at the moment there...

Photo: Radio Progreso.

Seventy-five percent of COVID-19 positive cases in Camagüey have recovered

According to the newspaper Adelante, from Camagüey, despite not having positive cases in the province for the new coronavirus for the last 24 hours, the local health authorities called for intensifying hygiene measures and social isolation, seeking to keep the peak of the epidemic as flat as possible. According to the source, 120 people are hospitalized for clinical-epidemiological surveillance, with only eight confirmed positive patients. In the different isolation centers there are 360 ​​contacts of confirmed cases. As no positive cases were reported this Thursday, positivity dropped to 1.4%. https://oncubanews.com/cuba/decretan-cuarentenas-en-zonas-afectadas-por-coronavirus-en-matanzas-y-camaguey/ The active screening reached more than 297,000 Camagüey residents. A total of 194 suspected acute respiratory infections were identified, but no suspect was found. Regarding self-screenings, 1,594 people used the computer tool, six reported contacts with confirmed cases in the territories of Camagüey, Nuevitas and Najasa. They were seen to by the municipal health departments. A total of 160 persons were reported as having respiratory symptoms. False information was not received. The end of the quarantine was announced in the People’s Council of Argentina, in the municipality of Florida. Dr. Juan Jesús Llambías Peláez, director of the Provincial Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology, said that seven of the 37...

Josep Borrell. Photo: EU.

European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean: joining efforts against the coronavirus

A few years ago, the European Union placed the concept of resilience at the center of its Global and Security Strategy. In a more complex, contested and interconnected world, the assumption made was that security and well-being were going to face new geopolitical challenges as well as transnational risks derived from globalization. This required strengthening the capacity of each country to adjust and overcome external shocks. This is an objective of our international cooperation, but it also challenges an EU that knows that it is vulnerable to these risks. Today, the COVID-19 is a critical test of resilience for societies, economies, and governance around the world. In the face of a global pandemic, there is no room for exclusively national responses or an interested use of cooperation or economic power for geopolitical purposes. To be sure, there are different capacities and responsibilities to start with, but without mutual support or joint global actions, the impact of the disease can be even more devastating for everyone. The European Union and its citizens are going through very hard times. But we are aware that to overcome the pandemic we must cooperate with all our partners, working side by side. And we know...

Police investigators at the scene of the events. Photo: AP.

Perpetrator of shooting against Cuban embassy in U.S. arrested and identified

A man armed with an assault rifle opened fire outside the Cuban embassy in Washington in the early morning hours of this Thursday, shooting at walls and columns next to the main entrance before being arrested, authorities said. The incident began around 2 a.m. outside the diplomatic mission in northwest Washington. Metropolitan police went to the scene after neighbors reported hearing gunshots, authorities added. Agents found the man, Alexander Alazo, 42, with an assault rifle and detained him without incident, police said. Investigators believe the person had been shooting at the embassy, ​​although details about his possible motive remained unclear. https://youtu.be/p2FsHkf9g9E A resident of Aubrey, Texas, Alazo was detained on charges of possession of an unregistered firearm and ammunition, battery with the intent to kill, and possession of a high-capacity magazine, a Secret Service spokeswoman said. No injuries were reported. Alazo was still under arrest and it was not immediately clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the charges. Images of the place published on social networks showed a group of police officers outside the embassy after the shooting and investigators searching a van parked there. Other photos showed investigators examining damage to the facade of the...

Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Cuba in the face of the coronavirus: 34 new cases, plus three deaths

Cuba is closing April with a total of 1,501 infections and 61 deaths, data confirmed with the update of the records offered by the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) this Thursday. At midnight yesterday, 34 new cases and three deaths were reported. Six patients were in critical condition and four in serious condition, while 64 were discharged, for a total of 681 recovered patients. Yesterday’s three victims of COVID-19 on the island were women and came from Havana. The first case was 77 years old and had a history of heart failure, diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic kidney failure (grade III); the second, 80 years old with a history of ischemic heart disease; and the third: 95 years old with a history of hypertension and diabetes mellitus. The MINSAP report describes their medical evolution. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1255875013691035650 The contagions correspond to Cubans; 29 were contacts of previously confirmed cases and the source of infection is not specified in 5 individuals. Their residence by province and municipality is as follows: Havana: 18 cases (7 from Cerro municipality; 2 from Marianao, Plaza de la Revolución and La Lisa municipalities; Guanabacoa, Centro Habana, Arroyo Naranjo, Playa and Boyeros municipalities, 1 each) Matanzas:...

Global interest in recombinant human Interferon Alpha 2b, one of Cuba’s leading biotech products, continues to grow. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Global interest in Cuban Interferon increases

More than 80 countries have expressed interest in acquiring Recombinant Human Interferon Alpha 2b, a Cuban product that has gained fame for its results in the therapy of coronavirus positive patients. Of the patients with COVID-19 on the island, 93.4% had been treated with Heberon―trade name of Interferon Alfa 2b―, according to data revealed by the Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) cited by the official newspaper Granma. The cited official figures indicate that of the patients treated in Cuba with this medicine until mid-April, only 5.5% reached the state of seriousness, and among them the mortality rate was just 0.9%, indices well below those registered in the rest of the world. The care protocol established by MINSAP to face the pandemic foresees the use of interferon, along with other drugs, in patients confirmed with the virus, but not in those who develop severe or critical states of the disease. https://oncubanews.com/en/cuba/the-famous-cuban-interferon-vs-the-sars-cov-2-coronavirus/ Dr. Eulogio Pimentel, general director of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) of Cuba, assured that “the data shows that the protocol in our country is effective, and interferon plays a role in the results.” The scientist also referred to an article that shows the results of...

The vehicle related to the events parked outside the diplomatic headquarters. Photo: Antonia Noori Farzan/The Washington Post.

Cuban Embassy in U.S. shot at

A stranger shot several times with a firearm at the Cuban Embassy building in the United States, as reported by the island’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) in a note issued this morning. Although the mission’s personnel were unharmed and are safe and protected, the impact of the shots left visible damage to the building. The motive for the events is unknown. The shooting occurred around two in the morning and several neighbors reported that they had been awakened by the barrage of gunshots and screams, according to The Washington Post. This newspaper also reported that the brown Nissan Pathfinder parked directly outside the embassy was subjected to intense police scrutiny and that on the ground, next to the driver’s side door, there was a black jacket and what appeared to be a blanket. https://twitter.com/BrunoRguezP/status/1255838183553712128 So far the identity of the attacker is unknown, but he was detained at the scene and is in the custody of local authorities. Agents had found the suspect with an assault rifle. The man, whose name was not released, was detained on charges of possession of an unregistered firearm and ammunition, attack with the intent to kill and possession of a high-capacity magazine, a...

A woman with a facemask buys bread in Havana. Photo: EFE/Yander Zamora.

A day without deaths in Cuba due to COVID-19, new infections drop to 30

This Tuesday closed for Cuba with 30 new infections and no deaths caused by COVID-19, a fact that had not happened since the beginning of March, when the pandemic began to take hold on the island. Today the report by the authorities of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) recalled that the total number of infections had reached 1,467 and the death toll 58. And as good news, 42 patients were discharged yesterday. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1255512737049972746 The 30 reported cases are Cubans; 23 of them had contact with patients and the source of infection is not specified in 7 individuals. Their residence is as follows: Havana: 25 cases (6 from the municipality of Habana del Este; 3 from the municipalities of Marianao and Diez de Octubre; the municipalities of Guanabacoa, Centro Habana, Old Havana and Cerro, 2 each; the municipalities of Cotorro, Arroyo Naranjo, Regla, Playa and Plaza de la Revolución, 1 each). Matanzas: 3 cases (from Cárdenas municipality). Holguín: 1 case (from Báguanos municipality). Santiago de Cuba: 1 case (from Palma Soriano municipality). Eleven of the 30 diagnosed cases were women and the most affected age groups are those under 40, with 17 cases; followed by the group of 40 to...

Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Stress on need to identify contacts and asymptomatic persons to avoid increased contagions

During a meeting of the Provincial Defense Council (CDP) of Havana, the need to identify all the contacts of COVID-19 positive people was stressed. Finding each contact of a sick patient and isolating them, it was said, is vital in coping with the disease. Dr. Carlos Alberto Martínez, director of public health in Havana, stressed that it is necessary to work rigorously looking for these people and asymptomatic persons in order to avoid a growth in infections. He also said that at the close of this Monday, there were 26 new positive cases in Havana, for a total of 603. Now the province has an incidence rate of 28.04 infected per 100,000 inhabitants, although nine municipalities are above that provincial average. https://oncubanews.com/cuba/aumentan-aislamiento-social-en-otros-tres-municipios-habaneros/ He added that Centro Habana municipality remains the one with the highest epidemiological risk, with an incidence rate of 47.76 confirmed cases; and that twelve events with greater isolation measures remain open. In none, he said, have new positive cases been reported. And he said that just over a thousand people are hospitalized in isolation centers for epidemiological surveillance, including suspects and contacts. In addition, he said that the Leonor Pérez Pediatric Hospital, in the municipality of Boyeros,...

The drug’s dose will start being increased in the next phase of the trial, BioNTech explained in a statement. Photo: Welt.

Germany tests coronavirus vaccine

German pharmaceutical company BioNTech confirmed this Wednesday that it has started testing a possible coronavirus vaccine in volunteers. The 12 participants in the clinical trial conducted in Germany received doses of the BNT162 vaccine since April 23, explained BioNTech, a company that works with the U.S. Pfizer. Several pharmaceutical companies are in the race to find a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has caused a pandemic, leaving more than 215,000 dead and infecting at least three million people. In the next phase of the trial, which will involve about 200 people between the ages of 18 and 55, the dose of the drug will start being increased, BioNTech said in a statement. The company said it expects to receive authorization from the regulator to start trials in the United States soon. AP/OnCuba

Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Rodrigo Malmierca notes impact of new coronavirus on tourism and imports

In the Mesa Redonda television program, Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca noted that the World Trade Organization predicted a contraction of between 13 and 22% in 2020. ECLAC, he said, predicted a contraction of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Latin America and the Caribbean only comparable to the Great Depression of the 1930s. This is going to have an impact on mainly the indicators of poverty and food, he said. He underlined that in Cuba the effects of the new coronavirus will be visible, especially in tourism, one of the main economic items, and that this will affect national income. “One of the main export services of the island is tourism, and we are already seeing how, not only in Cuba, but internationally, it has contracted,” he said. “Added to this are the effects of the intensification of the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States, which constitutes the main obstacle to the country’s development,” he said. Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca addresses the impact of the pandemic. Photo: Presidencia Cuba. He reported that there will also be problems in imports. A group of products that...

Photo: Wikicommons.

Camagüey joins COVID-19 plasma treatment

After analyzing all the medical discharges given to patients recovered from COVID-19 at medical centers in Camagüey, this province yesterday joined the program to extract hyper-immune plasma through the automated plasmapheresis process, consisting of obtaining antibodies against the disease. According to Dr. Yohanka Fernández Céspedes, the first step is to perform a rapid test to detect if the donor has enough active antibodies against the disease. The first two Camagüey residents who overcame the COVID-19 donated hyper-immune plasma for patients affected by the coronavirus at the Provincial Blood Bank of Camagüey on April 27, 2020. Photo: Rodolfo Blanco/AIN. Hyper-immune plasma is being used in patients admitted to the Amalia Simoni and Octavio de la Concepción y de la Pedraja hospitals, she said, although in case there is a need for this element in other hospitals and health institutions in the country, the one obtained in Camagüey will be provided. According to the doctor, to classify as a candidate, the person must be over 18 years of age and under 60, weigh more than 125 pounds and not have any pathology such as heart disease, diabetes or hypertension, among others. They can donate continuously, once a week,...

At the close of yesterday, April 27, 3,330 people remained hospitalized for clinical epidemiological surveillance and another 6,742 were under primary healthcare surveillance at home. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Cuba doubles yesterday’s coronavirus infections with the registration of 48 new cases

After a day of declining infections by COVID-19, the figures in Cuba are rising again today. The Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) reported 48 new infections, bringing the number to 1,347. MINSAP also reported two deceased, bringing the number of deaths to 58 since the pandemic started on the island. Yesterday, 50 people were discharged, seven patients were reported in critical condition and five were in serious condition. The deceased are two men: one 85 years old, resident in the municipality of Manicaragua, Villa Clara with a history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension and bedridden; the other was 63 years old and resided in Santiago de Cuba. She had a history of glaucoma and paranoid schizophrenia. The MINSAP report describes their medical evolution. https://twitter.com/MINSAPCuba/status/1255150104916267008 The 48 new infections correspond to Cubans. This is their geographical origin: Artemisa: 4 cases (the municipalities of San Antonio de los Baños, Güira de Melena, Mariel and Guanajay, 1 each). Havana: 26 cases (5 from the municipality of San Miguel del Padrón, 4 from the municipalities of Centro Habana and Regla; 3 from Marianao; Diez de Octubre, Arroyo Naranjo and Cerro, 2 each; Cotorro, Guanabacoa, Playa and Plaza de la Revolution, 1 each). Matanzas: 8 cases...

Photos: Otmaro Rodríguez

Experts predict anticipation of the peak of patients with COVID-19 in Cuba

Experts studying the evolution of coronavirus cases in Cuba predicted the anticipation of the peak of infections for next week, Cuban state media reported on Monday. According to the probability models, the estimate of the maximum number of people infected at the same time was reduced to 2,500 cases, according to Cubadebate. Raúl Guinovart, dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computing at the University of Havana, explained that the graph shows that “we are going to have a minimum of 1,500 cases and a maximum of 2,500.” Infograph: Cubadebate. *Caption:  HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS BY DAY ACTIVE (infested) Critical scenario Average scenario Favorable scenario Artificial intelligence estimate Reported active cases Days as of March 11 The professor clarified that, according to the evolution of the disease in Cuba, the models now indicate that “next week, approximately, we would be at the peak, anticipating the international average.” However, he said that this is a reserved prognosis, because it will depend on the evolution of the disease in the coming days. The first models said that in Cuba about 4,500 active patients would accumulate in one day―not new infections in one day, but the total number of patients hospitalized...

Arrival of Cubans on the island, with a single suitcase of 23 kilograms each, waiting at Havana’s José Martí airport for their transfer to an isolation center for the COVID-19 quarantine before going home. Photo: Mónica Rivero.

More than 2,000 Cubans have returned to the island during the pandemic

More than 2,000 Cubans who were abroad have returned to the island since the coronavirus pandemic broke out. This was announced this Monday by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez on his Twitter account, where he stated that the travelers had returned from 15 countries, “in the midst of a complex international epidemiological situation.” Rodríguez specified that groups of compatriots had returned through flights “organized thanks to cooperation between competent Cuban authorities and their counterparts in the countries involved.” https://twitter.com/BrunoRguezP/status/1254753004797997057 In a previous tweet, the Cuban foreign minister assured that the island’s consulates “provide timely information to our nationals abroad” and said that “they keep track of the situation of stranded compatriots in different countries and help as much as possible.” He also asserted that Cuba’s diplomatic headquarters abroad “make efforts to, whenever it’s possible, organiza the return” to the island of these people. https://twitter.com/BrunoRguezP/status/1254753004797997057 Following the decree of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cuban authorities advised their compatriots not to travel outside the island, and left open the possibility of return to all those who were abroad at that time. After closing its borders to international tourism, at the end of March, the Cuban government allowed residents in the country to...

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