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Díaz-Canel recognizes key contribution of Cuban science in COVID-19 battle

canel tecnologiaThe President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, recognized the key contribution made by Cuban science in the battle the country is waging against COVID-19, during a May 18 visit to the Cuban Neuroscience Center, where he spoke with several scientists who have been on the front lines of the battle.

After listening to two presentations on the strategy guiding work on a Cuban vaccine against SARS-COV-2 and the COVID-19preventive program, Díaz-Canel noted, “Over the last few days it is has become clear that all the efforts we have been assessing, week after week with scientists and the expert group, are producing results.”

The six consecutive days without deaths reported at that time; lower numbers of patients in critical and serious condition; more people recovering from these conditions and less entering them, are, he added, “undoubtedly the result of the clinical trials conducted and the research you have been explaining regularly, which has given us confidence in what we are achieving.”

Commenting on the collapse of many health systems worldwide, with insufficient capacity in intensive care units, the President explained that in Cuba “The day we had the most patients in critical and serious condition, there were 15, and we had prepared, over the three stages, to have more than 1,400 intensive care beds ready to confront COVID-19.”

During the dialogue with the researchers, Díaz-Canel noted that the work done early on was key, “…We detected cases and immediately began to isolate their contacts and contacts of contacts,” not in their homes, he added, but in institutions set up for this purpose.

The President also referred to the gradual process of returning to normality, which, he said, “will not be as normal as before, because there are things that we must maintain into the future as everyday rules, and others that we must conceive of differently.”

The country cannot lose control at this point, he stressed, we must move toward normality, recognizing that people will continue to be infected, but maintaining safety measures to avoid a second outbreak. Herein lies the strength of what we have done thus far, he said, not only evident in what we have experienced, but for what we do in the future.

He indentified two health problems that must be observed and researched: How do we immunize the population with vaccines and use drugs that have proven to boost the immune system? How do we treat children who show signs of long term damage from COVID-19?

“We must not only overcome the illness, but ensure quality of life for those who were sick, make sure they don’t develop complications, children, for example.”

Regarding Cuban vaccine candidates under investigation, the President pointed out, “Although there will be vaccines from other countries, we need our own, to guarantee sovereignty.”

The fact that we are going to have a vaccine will add to our accomplishments, he stated, emphasizing the pride Cubans feel for all that our scientists have done.

“Adding a Cuban vaccine to this, made available in the shortest time possible, will be an important contribution from all points of view,” he said.

During his visit to the Center, the President learned details of the strategy being followed to obtain a Cuban vaccine and aspects that differentiate it from those being developed in other countries.

Staff also explained administration of the preventive injection VA-MENGOC-BC to 17,000 residents in areas of Havana most affected by the pandemic, including 4,000 primary health care workers. This vaccine, although not specific to COVID-19, is proven to strengthen the immune system.

Prior to his tour of the Neurosciences Center, President Díaz-Canel visited the central offices of the Electronics Enterprise Group in Havana, where he learned of progress being made in national industry to support the COVID-19 battle, including the development of a respirator prototype, which, after being certified, will be available to intensive care units, as well as the production of lab coats, protective masks and equipment for disinfection with ultraviolet light.

Accompanied on the visit by Comandante de la Revolución Ramiro Valdés Menéndez, the President highlighted the country’s capacity to produce all types of equipment, based on the talent of our technicians and engineers. We can do whatever we set our minds to, he said, but to do so, we must banish the “import mentality” that hinders development.

(Source: Granma)

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