The first COVID-19 patient healed in Cuba thanked the medical staff who treated him during his hospitalization after testing positive for the disease.
“They were my parents, my brothers, my friends,” he said in an interview published by the official Granma newspaper.
Álvarez, 25 years old, was the first Cuban coronavirus carrier reported on the island, after receiving his wife, a Bolivian citizen residing in Milan, Italy. Previously, three Italian tourists had been confirmed, one of whom died.
He said that his couple had arrived in Cuba with no apparent symptoms of the disease, but after a few days both began to experience slight respiratory problems.
Both went to a healthcare center in the city of Santa Clara, where Álvarez lives; there they were declared as suspects and sent to an isolation center. They were then transferred to the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK), in Havana, where the young man tested positive for the disease.
“Imagine how I felt then; it was the end of the world for me. I was scared, I thought in the worst, in my family, in my little girl Ana Sofía, only one-year-old. But I had the strength to resist in the middle of the storm, because I knew the quality of Cuban medicine,” said Álvarez, quoted by Granma.
“I have no words to express my gratitude to Cuba, which has been able to train doctors, nurses and specialists who are so humane and of such a professional level,” he acknowledged.
The young man from Villa Clara praised the medical personnel that works at the Manuel Piti Fajardo Hospital in Villa Clara and at the IPK, and thanked them for making him feel that he was not alone in those days of isolation.
“I lacked nothing there, neither medicines nor resources of any kind, and they even spoiled me a little, because if I was hungry, it didn’t matter if it was two in the morning, they brought yogurt or some food; if I wanted to talk to my family, they facilitated the conversation over the phone; in short, I was pleased in everything,” he said.
Álvarez, who is kept under rigorous monitoring by the family doctor, recommended that Cubans not expose themselves and take precautionary measures in the face of the danger of the coronavirus.
“I’m worried, because I see some people who are still in the street and without the necessary awareness for the current situation; to them I say they should take care of themselves, that this can affect anyone. We must listen to the guidance of the government, which is working very hard to avoid the worst. If we follow all the measures, we are going to get out of this, because we are a fighting people, no one doubts that, we are going to win,” he said.
Cuba reported this Thursday the second death due to COVID-19 and 10 new positive cases, bringing the total number to 67, while 1,603 patients are kept in isolation centers.
Another 36,056 people are monitored in their homes, and so far only 893 diagnostic tests have been carried out to detect the presence of the coronavirus.