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Cuba strengthens measures to curve COVID infection in children

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 4 (ACN) When the COVID-19 is raging and refuses to be banished from Cuba and the world, in recent months the increase of the contagion in pediatric patients on the island has been worrying, something that alerts the medical community and activates efforts, as can be seen today in the province of Guantánamo, the province with the highest incidence rate of the pandemic in the country.

Speaking to the Cuban News Agency from the red zone of the Provincial Pediatric Hospital, Dr. Elienet Da Silva, head of the service there to combat the disease, called for family awareness, because the situation speaks - she said - of insufficient individual and collective responsibility of the population towards children, as a result of very low risk perception.

These attitudes, she said, are two allies of the pandemic that must be fought together in order to break the chain of transmission and avoid suffering at home, an objective to which health institutions and all their personnel are dedicated in exhausting days, intensifying the protocols to protect the sectors vulnerable to the infection and its complications.

Nine clinical discharges occurred this Wednesday at the Pedro A. Pérez Hospital, where most of the infants and adolescents with COVID-19 in the territory are being treated, while 24 patients, aged between 18 months and 12 years, continue with favorable evolution in their wards, which in the last few weeks have received, on average, up to six positive cases a day.

Although it is still a new disease yet to be explored and in the beginning it was said that the youngest patients were not very prone to its complexities, studies have shown that children are not only vulnerable, but can also have biological and psychological sequelae, so prevention in this population segment is vital, said the pediatric specialist.

The latest report on Wednesday reported, from the easternmost Cuban province, 58 pediatric patients among the active cases of COVID-19, including five infants - a phenomenon on which the Guantanamo family should reflect -, and also eight pregnant women, another risk group to which reinforced attention is paid, since they can develop severe forms of the disease.

Doctor Humberto Velázquez, in charge of the Mother and Child Program in the region, confirmed that so far none of the positive pregnant women have come from the Maternal Homes (for obstetric risks), where strict epidemiological surveillance is applied, but from the communities, which indicates that much remains to be done in terms of health promotion.

The doctor explained that the investigations in this sector are reinforced from house to house, sanitary transport is provided for specific consultations, the suspected pregnant women or contacts of COVID-19 cases (now six) are isolated in the center set up in the 14 de Junio School, and the confirmed cases are sent to a specialized institution in Santiago de Cuba, as well as positive postpartum and breastfeeding women and infants.

Doctor Roilder Romero, Provincial Director of Public Health, pointed out that in the midst of the difficult outbreak that Guantánamo is experiencing, the hospitalization capacity was expanded here with more than 20 facilities adapted as Isolation Centers, 19 for suspects and seven for confirmed cases, also adjusting these premises to the clinical conditions of the patients.

The executive also called on the population to take extreme safety measures, with emphasis on minors, who in January throughout Cuba had around 1,600 positive cases (a higher figure than in the whole of 2020), and urged to consolidate the robust protocol of action and medical care that has so far prevented the death of pediatric patients due to SARS-Cov-2.

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