HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 20 (acn) Cuba´s President Miguel Diaz-Canel headed a broad and useful working day through videoconference with leading authorities of the provinces in which new measures were defined to reinforce the confrontation with COVID-19 in Cuba, where 16 confirmed cases have already been counted.
The measures, which will be detailed today at the Mesa Redonda TV program, are aimed at strengthening epidemiological surveillance of all travelers arriving in the country, as well as strengthening other health measures aimed at minimizing the risk of transmission within the national territory. They also include decisions on trade, gastronomy, transportation, labor, salary and social security treatment, tax adjustments, among other matters focused in protecting the population against the threat of the new coronavirus.
On epidemiological control, the Minister of Public Health, Jose Angel Portal, explained that the approved decisions include surveillance through home admission and restriction of movements for 14 days for travelers staying in private residences in Cuba, as long as they do not present respiratory symptoms. If having them, they would be admitted into health institutions. This will also apply to fellow travelers who return to the country.
In the case of tourists, accommodation in hotels will be favored where all conditions are in place to increase clinical-epidemiological surveillance and medical supervision.
Regarding these new measures, Diaz-Canel stressed that the most important thing is the rigor, work and behavior of everyone. "The country, the Party, the Government and the institutions are responsible for preserving life and health of our people, and also being supportive and cooperative with those who need it in the world, in what is within our reach, because we have always defended that Homeland is humanity”.
He commented that there have been many manifestations of xenophobia, spite, discrimination, selfishness in the world, and that is not our philosophy. In midst of a complex situation we have to express the best values of the Cuban people, which are neither selfishness nor mistreatment. "We will consequently continue performing, “he added.
Diaz-Canel assured that “what is going to avoid contagion is not fear; what is going to avoid contagion is working coherently with the things that we have considered, with the things that are in the Plan”.
"We have sufficient strengths, from the political will and experience of the Party, the Government and the Revolution up to all the other things that we have as a construction: our Civil Defense system, our Health system, our mass organizations and, fundamentally, our people who understand and will support all this. We have to be able to make it viable, to guide it, to explain it and to convince them,”he noted.
As updated at the meeting, 523 patients are admitted to Cuba for epidemiological surveillance, 159 foreigners and 364 locals. Five new cases for COVID-19 were positives yesterday, who add to the 11 already confirmed previously. The new patients are a French, an Italian, a Cuban who works on a cruise ship and came from Italy; a Spanish and a Canadian.
Portal explained that of the 16 patients diagnosed with the disease, one died and the other 15 present a stable clinical evolution. Their direct contacts are under active surveillance, with no incidents so far.
In the world, the numbers reach 213,255 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 8,843 deaths. The World Health Organization reports the disease in 153 countries, with a case fatality rate that already reaches 4.15%. Thirty countries and six overseas territories are affected in the Americas.
Given the complex situation that surrounds the Caribbean island, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero noted that we will further strengthen sanitary control at airports, ports and marinas throughout the country; as well as increasing active research in communities, work centers, schools and day care centers.
He referred to the high social and economic cost of this pandemic that plagues the entire world, which is why Cuba has to continue working in stages, without despair or improvisation, and with great firmness.