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 condition, attended by highly experienced staff, he added. All the provinces, except Mayabeque and the Isla de la Juventud Special Municipality, have confirmed cases. According to what he said, until now the most affected territories are Havana (73 cases), Villa Clara (32), Matanzas (23), Ciego de Ávila (23), Pinar del Río (21), Santiago de Cuba (21), Sancti Spíritus (16) and Camagüey (16).
He stressed that those diagnosed are mostly Cuban (237 vs. 32 foreigners). Of the total of sick Cubans, 102 (43.2%) were infected abroad, mainly in the United States (35), Spain (25) and Mexico (13), in addition to Panama, Guyana, France and other nations. “Those persons came from abroad and developed the disease,” he said.
On the other hand, 135 Cubans were infected within the island. Forty-two percent became ill from contacts with foreigners and Cubans who came from abroad, while 48% had interactions with Cuban and foreign travelers during the fourteen days of incubation. The 8.8%, he said, corresponds to secondary events of local transmission in Matanzas and Pinar del Río.
Regarding the situation in the El Carmelo People’s Council, in El Vedado, he said that it was “an area where there are 238 rental houses and a large influx of tourists and people, so it is essential to take the isolation measure to avoid an important transmission and protect not only the province, but the country.” In addition to the eight confirmed cases, there are 18 contacts currently under surveillance. In that area, 30.8% of the population is over 60 years old.
Finally, he said that the safe-conduct announced yesterday as a requirement to enter or leave the area will not be applied. “This is not a quarantine,” he said, but an increase in isolation to protect the population. “Residents should stay in their homes, and only leave if it is essential or if they have important work commitments. The population that does not live in that area should refrain from visiting.
“You can’t let your guard down for a single minute,” he said. “The population must understand that we are protecting their health,” he concluded.