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Gaining time in the COVID-19 battle

Canel reunion 24 abrilSince the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on the island at the beginning of March, the Cuban government has prioritized the daily battle against the pandemic and holds daily meetings to review the situation and make key decisions.

This Thursday’s meeting at the Palace of the Revolution was marked by three important discussions related to the COVID-19 battle, one with Public Health experts, another with scientists from various sectors, and finally with the government task force created to lead the country’s efforts to combat the new coronavirus.

All three discussions focused on gaining time in prevention and control of the epidemic, in an effort to mitigate the impact of more critical stages. As of midnight April 22, a total of 1,235 cases of the virus had been confirmed and 43 deaths reported.

President Miguel Díaz-Canel began the morning with prominent intensive care specialists, pediatricians, immunologists, virologists, cardiologists, epidemiologists, and nephrologists who are among health professionals directly involved in the battle against the new coronavirus.

In discussing the protocol used in Cuba with patients, Díaz-Canel reiterated that the strategy must continue of working hard to prevent patients’ deterioration to serious or critical condition, by beginning treatment as soon as possible.

In this regard, Dr. Ileana Morales, the Ministry of Public Health’s director of Science and Technological Innovation, explained the protocol for clinical management used in Cuba, which is constantly being adapted and characterized by a comprehensive approach, preventive interventions, early action, specific procedures for each stage of the illness, as well as individual attention and management of existing morbidities.

This protocol, which has already been adjusted several times based on experience gained, includes the Cuban products Interferon Alpha 2b, Biomodulin-t, CIGB 2020 and CIGB 258, all with promising results.

Dr. Lissette López González, head of the Ministry’s national pediatric group, explained that, thus far, 136 pediatric patients have been treated, including the administration of kalestra, chloroquine and interferon, all with positive results.

Also noted during the meeting was the solidarity of individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and voluntarily donated hyperimmune plasma, to be used in treating patients in serious condition.

Cuban scientists confirmed that government measures implemented to contain the pandemic are producing results, discussing predictive models developed with the President. The experts stated that, over the last few days, Cuba has moved toward a more favorable scenario, which should be no reason to let our guard down, since the peak of the disease on the island has not yet arrived.

Specialists explained that the epidemic’s peak should arrive 77 days after the appearance of the disease, which would be the end of May.

As occurs every afternoon, the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, led a meeting of the prevention and control task force.

On this occasion, the provinces of La Habana and Villa Clara, and the Isle of Youth special municipality, the territories with the highest rates of infection per inhabitant, reported on their situation.

Havana authorities stated that measures are being reinforced in the municipality of Centro Habana, an area of high epidemiological risk, where efforts are being intensified in five neighborhoods.

In Villa Clara, differentiated attention is being paid to two new transmission events in the municipality of Camajuaní, and one in Rest Home No. 3 where 61 cases have been confirmed thus far, including 43 elderly residents and 18 workers.

The Isle of Youth, with 20 cases and one open transmission event, is also reinforcing all containment measures.

(Source: Granma)

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