In the midst of a vaccination campaign with own antigens, restriction of mobility and airports working to a minimum, the coronavirus hits Cuba hard, that is about to reach 300,000 accumulated infected since March 2020 and is going through the worst month of the pandemic.
The situation, which worries the population and brought the health system to the brink of collapse in some territories, it also came across a series of anti-government street demonstrations -answered by others in favor- last week they left one dead.
The national director of Epidemiology, Francisco Durán, considered Tuesday “very high” transmission of the virus these days in Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Ciego de Ávila and Guantánamo. Also, there was a rebound in Havana.
“Of course we are worried, because we see that there is a high incidence in the population, especially in younger children, ” nurse Yurizam Martínez, 53, told the AP from a Havana street. “I feel psychologically affected because we have been working for more than a year and we still do not see a result like the one we expect … but we have to continue.”
Waiting for the vaccine, in a state office in Havana. Reuters photo
Martínez narrated how it is operated in the isolation centers – in one of which he works – and the follow-up given to contacts of positive cases in the communities within the framework of a state health system.
A few meters further, the pianist Regla de la Caridad Mesa, 60, is confident that vaccination begins to decrease the number of deaths, critical and serious. “We Cubans are beautiful people, people who like to party, we like groups … We have come out of worse things.”
The data for this month do not accompany the optimism. In the first 19 days of July, 100,504 infections and 717 deaths were accumulated, said Durán, who added that the total number of confirmed infected since the pandemic began was 249,449 of which 2019 died. July has 49,882 more cases than June.
According to Durán a 18.8% of the population is fully vaccinated and 30.1% received at least one dose.
The island is the only nation in Latin America that manufactures its own vaccines – Abdalá and Soberana, both with a three-dose schedule – with efficacy greater than 90% against the development of the disease.
In Havana, the capital, there are 917; in Cienfuegos, in the center of the country, there are 853; and in Santiago de Cuba (east) 520, iIndicators of a very high global spread.
The marches for and against the government may have increased the contagion on the island. AP Photo
The original strain emerged in Wuhan, China, no more has been detected in Cuba but there are 11 of its variants and five mutational patterns. Some of the modalities “we have practically lost them along the way, since they are no longer detected. Others are being imposed, as is the case of Beta and Delta,” explained María Guadalupe Guzmán Tirado, head of the Center for Research, Diagnosis and Reference of the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine.
He revealed that the four variants that cause the most concern in the world have been detected in Cuba and that they are Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. During the first half of 2021, the most prevalent variant is Beta (441 samples, 41.5%), followed by D614G (268 samples, 25%) and the one reported in California (Epsilon, 84 samples, 8%), underlined