Cuba enters phase of limited indigenous transmission

HAVANA – Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel reported earlier this week that Cuba is already in the “limited indigenous transmission phase” of COVID-19. By Tuesday, 46 new infected cases were confirmed, 20 of them in the Ciego de Ávila province, for a total of 396 patients notified with the disease.

As explained by Health Minister José Ángel Portal Miranda via government dispatches every afternoon, the current epidemiological phase is declared “when cases are confirmed in which it has not been possible to establish a link with travelers from affected areas and are limited to small conglomerates in localities or institutions of the country.”

The provinces in which the last 46 cases were detected, in addition to Ciego, are Pinar del Río, Artemisa, Mayabeque, Havana, Matanzas, Villa Clara, Camagüey, Holguín, Santiago de Cuba and the special municipality of Isle of Youth.

Measures are in place where when local transmission is detected, they go into quarantine, for which the general staff of Civil Defense on the Island must indicate the steps to be followed.

Díaz-Canel called for “discipline, cooperation and solidarity,” and mentioned the particular case of Ciego de Ávila, where there are already 48 patients confirmed with COVID-19, 12 of them in the municipality of Florencia, and blamed on the irresponsibility of a group of people who held a party when it was prohibited.

He also made reference to the need for responsible behavior in the act of informing and disclosing unverified data, since neurosis and fear do little to help in the current state of crisis.

He emphasized that the Cuban government “is fulfilling its responsibility to offer all available information through these media, with immediacy, transparency and without fear. We’ve had enough of those who constantly question the veracity of what is being informed. We are not hiding cases, everyone here has been informed clearly, at the time they have occurred.”

At the meeting, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero referred to the new measures that are being carried out according to the protocols for this new stage of the epidemic, some of which were already in place before.

The measures include:

  • The sale of alcoholic beverages consumed in eating establishments has been suspended, although take-out will be maintained. Eating places will only offer take-out service thereby avoiding crowds.
  • Urban passenger transportation is restored, but with limits on the number of people per bus to maintain an adequately safe distance. An analysis will also be carried out on the country’s work activities that are not essential and must cease, maintaining those with the greatest impact on the national economy, such as food production.
  • Those committing illegal acts are warned that they will be dealt with rigorously because they are placing people’s lives at risk during the pandemic.

(Information has been gathered from Cubadebate and Prensa Latina.)