After 57 days, the quarantine finally ended at Home for the Elderly No. 3 in the city of Santa Clara, in the province of Villa Clara, where an outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infected 57 people, three of whom died.
Pending the completion of constructive actions in the home’s building, 53 of the elderly remain in the Marta Abreu Special School, and another 29 are in the Rolando Pérez Quintosa Special School, in that city in central Cuba, reported the local newspaper Vanguardia.
Last May 22, the last of the patients affected by COVID-19 related to this transmission event, which kept Cuba in suspense for several weeks, was discharged. The infected patients were cared for in the Celestino Hernández and Comandante Manuel Piti Fajardo hospitals in Santa Clara.
Once the threat is over, the elderly return to their daily routine, which includes morning gymnastics, among other activities, as well as their medical follow-up.
“Every morning we do the morning gymnastics. The one who, due to his illness, cannot do them sits in the open air to catch the sun and participate as a spectator, but believe me, it’s a very special moment, because we laugh, move our arms and legs, and it encourages us to keep going. The doctors? We have no complaints, they are very special,” one of the senior citizens, Valentín Regalado, told Vanguardia.
The local coronavirus transmission event in the Santa Clara home for the elderly was detected in mid-April, and since then information on it has been closely followed by Cubans due to the nature of the people affected.
What happened there, in the opinion of Dr. Neil Reyes, director of hygiene and epidemiology in the province of Villa Clara, was the result of “a crack in the epidemiological safety” of the institution, which allowed the spread of the virus among those who live and work in it.
According to Dr. Reyes, in the focus control it was found that “a doctor and a nurse who later tested positive for COVID-19 presented respiratory symptoms and still continued working.”
“Perhaps they didn’t believe it was something serious or that they should not be absent and affect others, because it was resolved immediately, but the truth is that they failed to comply with the guidelines to stay at home in the face of any suspicion of illness,” said the official after the detection of the outbreak.
The transmission event in this Santa Clara Home for the Elderly is one of the more than 40 that has occurred to date on the island, including communities and hospital centers, but the only one registered in an institution of its kind on the island.
That was the largest outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 infections registered in Cuba up to that moment, and left a balance of 19 sick workers and 47 elderly people, three of whom died.
Here you can find the most current data and how the coronavirus curve is evolving on the island.