As part of the measures to face a possible Covid-19 outbreak in Cuba, masks, a means of protection aimed at preventing the spread of the disease in high-risk environments, have already begun to be made on the island.
The Carlos Simón factory, in the municipality of Cabaiguán –in the province of Sancti Spíritus–, is one of the textile entities that produces these pieces made of fabric, destined for health institutions. The Sancti Spíritus factory will produce in the first stage about 20,000 masks, a figure that could be increased “as the process goes along,” according to its director, Gerson Cerquera.
The official said that the operators are working overtime on that assignment and explained that the design of these pieces “is totally different from other masks made for surgical procedures,” according to statements cited by the newspaper Juventud Rebelde.
The publication reports that “to take on this priority task,” the Carlos Simón factory interrupted the making of school uniforms for junior high education that it was carrying out “in order to speed up production.”
The masks made in the Cabaiguán factory “have as a special feature three layers of fabric that help protect against respiratory infections existing in the environment,” according to Liliana Figueroa Ferrer, head of brigade at the factory, who said that they have “the necessary raw material” for their production: more than 5,000 meters of fabric, “very useful for hospital purposes.”
Although the Cuban authorities have reiterated that to date the island has no any confirmed case of Covid-19 ―the respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that has infected more than 117,000 people and has killed more than 4,000―, they have implemented a plan for its prevention and control in case it gets to the island.
As part of it, border surveillance actions and training of health personnel and other entities have been intensified, public messages on the subject have multiplied and hospital facilities have been enabled for possible cases, among other measures.
This Monday, in a television appearance, Cuban authorities detailed part of the government plan against Covid-19 and called on the population to comply with the established measures and to go to the doctor in case of presenting suspicious symptoms.
In that space, Deputy Prime Minister Roberto Morales Ojeda acknowledged that, given the economic difficulties that the country is going through, it would be difficult to import and industrially produce masks for all the people, so he referred to the possibility that people and communities themselves would produce handmade ones for use in circumstances that so warrant.