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February Friday

Environmental regulation and safety also help fight COVID-19 in Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 21 (ACN) The Office of Regulation and Environmental Safety (ORSA) made its biosafety expertise available to entities of the scientific park to help them counteract the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic.

One of its practices entailed supporting the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine to authorize, from the biosafety point of view, the risk level II modular laboratory used to develop Cuban vaccines against COVID-19, institution director Jorge Álvarez reported.

Talking exclusively to the Cuban News Agency, the executive summarized the main activities of his staff, which also include control inspections to hospitals and isolation centers and hazardous waste management.

In coordination with the Ministry of Public Health, they contributed to extend the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique to the detection of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and processed

However, he clarified that they verified the compliance of 73% of the 1,049 measures controlled and impose 162 penalties in cases of violations.

His institution participated in the preparations to receive the MS Braemer Cruise Ship in March 2020, after other countries denied the vessel entry into their port when they knew of several COVID-19 cases on board and even refused to help in their repatriation to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

"On behalf of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Cuban authorities, the port of Mariel and the people of Cuba for their support," Managing Director Peter Deer said in a statement.

The Office of Regulation and Environmental Safety assumed, on behalf of the country, the Presidency of the Ibero-American Forum of regulatory bodies in the field of radiological and nuclear safety.

The Office of Environmental Regulation and Nuclear Safety (ORASEN), founded in 2002, was made up of the Centers for Environmental Inspection and Control, Chemical Safety, Biological Safety and Nuclear Safety, but as part of its improvement system, the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment decided to integrate them into the Environmental Control and Nuclear Safety Directorates and rename it ORSA, tasked since then with nationwide environmental regulation throughout the country.

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