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Covid in Cuba: a cautious June follows a dark May

The forecasts were accurate in early May when they announced a tricky month for Cuba due to Covid-19. In fact, 35,701 cases were filed in 31 days. According to the Cuban health authorities, the immunisation of 70% of the island’s inhabitants is expected to be completed by August.

 

Claudia Dupeirón García

 

An average of 1,151 patients every 24 hours, most of them infected by domestic transmission, contact with other people already diagnosed, and no region free of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease, became common phrases coming from the country’s Ministry of Public Health.

Although the special municipality Isla de la Juventud went for 30 days without reporting any patients, in mid-May it again presented transmissions of the coronavirus. In total, the fifth month of the year surpassed the April figures by 4,355, and the Caribbean nation began June with 143,323 infected since 11 March 2020.

Unfortunately, the black pages written by Covid-19 in the history of the largest of the Antilles record that last month 301 people died from complications with the disease.

The average number of deaths reached 10 per day and today the accumulated deaths due to the pandemic in Cuba have risen to 965.

In intensive care wards, the daily numbers exceeded one hundred in May; with around 95 serious and more than 50 critical cases on various occasions.

Contrary to figures from the period of March to December 2020, in the first months of 2021 afflicted children began to set increasing trends, with cases not only occurring in adolescents, but also in those under 18 years of age and even in infants.

More than once they reported serious or critical cases in children aged less than six months, and even newborns; without reporting any of their deaths in the past 31 days.

5,191 was the total infected in the month, with an average of 180 cases each day.

As of June, 869 children were admitted, of which 87 are less than one year old.

18,919 Cuban infants have suffered from the virus, and 95.4% of them have recovered.

Also in May, the numbers of medical discharges each day on several occasions exceeded 1,000 people, and the balance was positive on the last day, with 1,123 people in recovery, raising the number of those recovered to 136,339.

But the rise in cases was only one chapter in the history of Covid-19 in Cuba during the month of May.

The country has not stopped for a second in the battle against coronavirus and five vaccine candidates were developed: Soberana 01, Soberana 02 and Soberana Plus from the Finlay Institute of Vaccines (IFV); and Mambisa and Abdala from the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB).

The first country in Latin America to present a vaccine candidate to counteract the disease that has plagued the world since 2020, the nation is getting to almost halfway through 2021 with 1,843,490 administered doses of its own vaccines.

At the close of 30 May, 1,71,041 people had received at least one dose.

Of these, 628,409 people have already had a second injection and 144,040 people have had a third.

Since the beginning of the fifth month of the year, the Ministry of Public Health approved a health intervention with the Abdala and Soberana 02 products for at-risk groups and regions.

Health workers from the biopharmaceutical sector, students of Medical Sciences and other vulnerable groups are participating in the process, in which 1,293,809 doses have been administered.

Before the health intervention and as part of the research associated with Soberana 02 and Abdala, an intervention trial had begun in at-risk groups, aimed at demonstrating the efficacy, effectiveness and impact of the vaccines on the individuals to whom they are applied. The study also aimed to find out if the vaccines protect against transmission from whoever interacts directly with the recipients and has not been immunised.

During this stage, which is taking place in the provinces of Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Granma and Guantánamo, 400,317 doses were administered.

In addition to this number, there are the 149,364 that have been injected during the different phases of clinical trials with the vaccine candidates. (PL)

(Translated by Hannah Phelvin) – Photos: Pixabay

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