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October Monday

Experts confirm downward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases in Cuba



HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 13 (ACN) The charts depicting forecast models of the behavior of the COVID-19 epidemic in Cuba between March 2020 and March 2022 shows that we are already going downhill and overcoming the explosion of confirmed cases, and that the figures will continue to show a downward trend.

This was stated Tuesday by Dr. C. Raul Guinovart Diaz, dean of the School of Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Havana, who opened the meeting of experts and scientists engaged in scientific and technological innovation activities to cope with the new coronavirus, attended by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez and Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz.

"The decline will be slow, although for those in hospital the curve is rapidly declining," said the expert. “By the end of the year we would have a situation more or less similar to October and November last year".

According to the mathematician, all provinces seem to be in control of the disease, even those with the highest rates of transmission. As to the death toll, the numbers are reaching a plateau nationwide. He drew attention on provinces that have managed to reduce the number of cases but not the lethality. In this regard, he said: "It is necessary to investigate the causes to lower (the levels of) incidence, but it is also important that people do not die.”

Guinovart praised the high levels of recovery among COVID-19 patients in Cuba: "The figure," he emphasized, "represents a tremendous effort.” And at that point of the meeting, President Díaz-Canel Bermúdez recalled that it’s 97.5% of the total number of cases, whereas in the world it is 90.46% and in the Americas 85.3%.

“This says a lot about the quality of the medical care process," said Guinovart, "but also about the whole vaccination process and the quality of the vaccines, which have saved many people. Otherwise, at the current pace of the disease, we would be talking today about 300,000 additional cases, or perhaps more, and 3,000 more people could have died. And the number of hospital patients would have been extremely high."

Other voices of science
The meeting also addressed the variants of CoV-2 SARs circulating in Cuba, a topic presented by Dr. Sc. Guadalupe Guzmán Tirado.

“Last year,” she said, “Cuba had the D614G variant, the one that prevailed around the world and the first we had in our country. However, other strains appeared in the late 2020. By ‘variant’ we mean that the virus undergoes changes, and when a series of mutations accumulate it is still the same virus but it is not exactly the original one; and in most cases those changes have no effects, but some of them can pave the way for greater transmission and more serious symptoms or render a vaccine useless.”

January 2021 brought other variants and, up to September, she said, we have had some 17 of them in Cuba. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes four ‘variants of concern’, namely Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta.

Alpha infected people in Cuba, but it’s not the main "variant of concern" in the Island. Beta, on the other hand, caused the peak in April. And by the end of May, Delta was detected, the most contagious one worldwide.

"Delta,” Dr. Guzmán remarked, “began circulating gradually but has taken hold. (...) There are still others (...) but Delta is the prevailing one.”

The forecast models have it that Delta will keep circulating around the country at least until December.

Dr. Sc. Rolando Perez Rodriguez presented at the meeting a draft Strategy for the administration of booster doses with SARS CoV2 vaccines and highlighted their safety, efficacy and effectiveness, as well as the preliminary evidence of increased immune response with a booster dose administered along with Abdala, Soberana Plus and Soberana 01.

A second meeting followed, that of the Temporary Working Group of the Government for the fight against COVID-19, headed by President Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz and Vice President Salvador Valdés Mesa, who exchanged views about the epidemiological situation and the availability of oxygen with all provincial leaders through a videoconference.

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