COVID-19 transmission intensity decreases in Cuba, but not its confrontation

Cuba began this week a different stage in the confrontation with COVID-19, inevitably marked by the certainty that it is urgent, after seven long months of work without rest, to learn to live with the disease among us and, therefore, continue to develop also the economic and social life of the country, from the prism of greater responsibility and perception of risk.

There are many ways of doing that little by little they will be readjusted under those purposes, in which the first thing will continue to be, as until now, to preserve the health of our people.

From the new normal that has begun to live in most Cuban territories, this Tuesday in the temporary work group for the prevention and control of the new coronavirus -which usually met daily and will now do so twice in the week-, the behavior of the epidemic was evaluated in the course of the last seven days, in which there is evidence of a tendency to decrease the intensity of disease transmission.

This favorable behavior was confirmed by the Minister of Public Health, José Angel Portal Miranda, during the working session headed by the President of the Republic, Bermúdez; the Vice President of the Republic, Salvador Valdés Mesa; and the Prime Minister, .

In a day where the increase in cases was significant not only in European countries, but also in the Americas region, Portal Miranda explained that at the end of last week in Cuba there was a marked decrease in the number of confirmed people. With respect to the previous seven days, he said, 187 fewer people were diagnosed in the country, which represents 53.9%.

During that period, which coincides with week 31 of confrontation with the epidemic in the Greater Antilles, he commented that new patients with COVID-19 were reported in six provinces: Pinar del Río, Artemisa, Villa Clara, Havana, Sancti Spíritus and Ciego de Ávila.

In the last three, he specified, 96.3% of the cases reported at that time are concentrated, most of them in the territory of Espirituan, and they also show the highest incidence rates per 100 000 inhabitants during the last 15 days, although with a downward behavior.

Particularly on the scenario that the nation was experiencing this Tuesday, the Minister of Public Health pointed out that with 17 new patients and the granting of 28 medical discharges to people who were infected with the disease, 290 active cases remained in health institutions, a figure which has continued to decline.

He recalled that to date 93 local broadcast events have been opened in Cuba, of which 83 have been closed, four of them announced in this work session of the temporary group.

Three were in the Ciego de Ávila province: those of the Roberto Rodríguez hospitals, in Morón, and Antonio Luaces Iraola, in the provincial capital, and one in the municipality of Venezuela; the fourth corresponded to Havana, in the INDAL Elaboration Center, located in Old Havana.

During the day, he assured, no new events of this type were opened, so ten are still active: the Cuban capital, Matanzas and Ciego de Ávila, each with two, and Sancti Spíritus with four.

Regarding this last province, which in the month of October has the highest intensity levels of transmission of the disease in the country, Portal Miranda explained that seven outbreak controls are active: five in the municipality of Sancti Spíritus and one in that of Cabaiguán, which did not report cases on the day, as well as one that was opened in Yaguajay, where a positive patient was reported this Tuesday, which accumulated two.

Precisely the epidemiological situation of that territory, as well as of Havana and Pinar del Río, the only ones that reported patients with COVID-19 on the day, focused the analysis of this work session of the temporary group, where the governor of Espirituana, Teresita Romero Rodríguez affirmed that 30 positive cases had been confirmed there since last Friday.

In that province, which is in a phase of limited autochthonous transmission of the disease, according to Romero Rodríguez, work has continued on the basis of epidemiological surveillance and all population studies were carried out based on the evaluation of positive cases, events of local transmission, the controls of active sources, and those places where people suspected of carrying the virus have been detected.

The purpose, he said, continues to be to cut the transmission of the disease in the province as soon as possible and thus achieve control of the epidemic.
On the other hand, in Havana, where, according to the Minister of Public Health, for the second consecutive week there is a decrease in confirmed cases, and only two active local transmission events remained on Tuesday, the current scenario continues to be marked by the strict fulfillment of the actions included in the third phase of the recovery stage through which the province is passing.

In this regard, Governor Reinaldo García Zapata stated that work is being done on the implementation of the measures contained in said phase, 12 of which will not be implemented immediately and are linked, above all, to transportation and services.

Since last Friday, he specified, it has also been analyzed in detail, in conjunction with the Ministry of Public Health, the way in which the protocols established in the new normal will be implemented in the capital to achieve isolation in their homes from case contacts confirmed and suspects. In this regard, he commented that an extensive training process has been carried out for all those involved in this process.

He also explained about the work carried out in 20 institutions that functioned as isolation centers and in which the school year must resume on November 2. In these centers, he assured, no more people have been admitted for a few days, with the purpose that they are empty before the 20th and to be able to start disinfection and conditioning.

From Pinar del Río, a province where there are 10 positive cases under follow-up, six of them reported on Tuesday, Governor Rubén Ramos Moreno specified that the majority are concentrated in the popular council Isabel Rubio, of the municipality of Guane, and all are contacts of the patient who remains active in Sandino.

In the aforementioned community, he pointed out, a set of measures of increased restriction are applied and the PCR tests carried out cover a universe of 965 people. In the province, he said, 16 suspects and 190 contacts were kept under surveillance.

As of the transition to the new normality, he argued, the new isolation protocols were also implemented there for these cases, for which 123 people remained at home, concentrated in 26 homes, mainly in the Isabel Rubio popular council.

Consequently, avoiding contagions continues to be the challenge, which is why Cuba does not trust itself, and in the face of the tendency to decrease the intensity of transmission of COVID-19, it continues to increase its actions to confront it and improve working mechanisms. The current scenario does not allow us to trust ourselves.

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