Cuba breaks daily Covid infection, death records

Havana, Jul 8 (EFE).- Cuba set two new daily Covid records on Thursday with newly confirmed infections totaling 3,819 along with 26 deaths, including a two-month-old child, the Public Health Ministry (Minsap) reported.

The highest daily new infection total prior to Thursday of 3,664 had come the day before and the previous daily death record of 21 Covid fatalities had been set last Monday.

The Thursday figures provide evidence of the complex epidemiological panorama in Cuba at present, where a total of 218,376 people have been infected and 1,431 have died since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

The most difficult situation is occurring in the western province of Matanzas, where the biggest concentration of daily infections – 1,327 – is located, the first time that a Cuban territory has registered more than 1,000 positive SARS-Cov-2 tests in a single day.

In that region, where the healthcare network is on the verge of collapse and with an infection rate of more than 1,300 per 100,000 residents, patients are waiting in the halls of hospitals and medications are scarce, a situation that many people have denounced on the social networks.

Several people have spontaneously organized themselves on Twitter and Facebook to collect money and send masks, hand sanitizer and other supplies as part of efforts to alleviate the Matanzas health situation.

The national government also send additional medical personnel to that province, where the popular tourist resort of Varadero is located.

Havana and the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, which registered the second and third highest daily infection totals on Thursday, reported 645 and 387 new cases, respectively.

In detecting the new daily record total, Cuban laboratories processed 39,101 Covid tests, but authorities determined that 44 of the cases were imported from abroad.

At least 44,970 people are being housed in hospitals and isolation centers, of whom 21,091 are active Covid cases – 72 of them critical and 101 serious – along with 15,301 people with suspected symptoms and the rest under epidemiological observation.

In the risk zones in the country, including the capital, a healthcare intervention study is under way to administer the Abdala and Soberana 02 vaccines – the two anti-Covid vaccines that are farthest along in their development among the five that Cuba is preparing.

Both vaccines are still awaiting official authorization for emergency use after showing a 92.2 percent efficacy (Abadla) and 62 percent for Soberana 02, which are in the last phase of clinical trials, local health authorities said.

More than a million of Cuba’s 11.2 residents have been fully vaccinated with one or the other of the vaccines as part of the clinical trials and studies being carried out.

Cuba is not participating in the World Health Organization’s Covax mechanism created so that low and medium income countries can get access to anti-Covid vaccines, and Havana has not purchased any vaccines on the international market either.

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