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Díaz-Canel: In Cuba, life is our principal treasure

canel medidasThe Cuban strategy to confront COVID-19 has been effective and is showing positive results, stated President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, during his presentation on the Mesa Redonda television program, October 8, of modifications made based on current conditions, to improve the national prevention and control plan, which were approved during the last meeting of the Political Bureau, presided by the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee’s first secretary, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz.

This update, he explained, includes measures to be taken during each stage of the epidemic; a definition of what will be the new normal; and a code for everyday life to be followed in the future.

Beginning his remarks, the President recalled that, with the arrival of the COVID-19, the difficult world context we were facing became even more uncertain and discouraging. Cuba was obliged to face a challenging national reality, marked by the pandemic, an increasingly aggressive U.S. blockade, as well as the effort to advance in implementing Party agreements and the country’s approved economic and social strategy.

He recalled the three fundamental fronts on which our work is focused: containing the pandemic; confronting, resisting and denouncing the blockade; and implementing agreements reached at the last Party Congress, especially those related to our economic and social strategy.

Given what has been done in this regard, Díaz-Canel stated that, although we are not satisfied and may have criticisms, we have results to show and can set goals.

Addressing one of these fundamental arenas, the COVID-19 battle, the President emphasized the effectiveness of the strategy followed, which was conceived based on the experience of the Revolution in health, enriched with the participation of collaborators who have worked around the world; the contributions of Cuba’s scientific community; the work of political and mass organizations; and of course, the public health system.

Reviewing the months of confrontation, he pointed out that all elements foreseen in initial evaluations of the country’s situation were borne out in reality, and noted the effectiveness of work done.

Early in the epidemic, he commented, when we did not know much about the disease, our knowledge and learning allowed us to overcome the April peak and achieve a degree of stability. Nonetheless, our mathematical models predicted the possibility of the resurgence we are experiencing.

At the peak of the pandemic, Diaz-Canel noted, some 2,000 PCR tests were administered daily; but with the resurgence, which has lasted over a longer period, testing has been increased significantly. The effectiveness of our treatment protocols has also been demonstrated in this second wave, with a lower lethality rate, which today stands at 2.079 per 100 cases.

Regarding the current situation, he noted the tendency of hospital discharges to surpass the number of new cases; greater control of propagation of the virus in Havana; and the positive trend seen in Ciego de Avila and Sancti Spíritus; as well as the number of provinces reporting no cases over several months.

Around the world, the President recalled, the number of deaths has surpassed one million, with more than half a million in Latin American, while in Cuba, we have lamented the loss of 123 patients. Thus, the worldwide lethality rate is 2.9%; that of the Americas is 3.3% and 2.079% in Cuba.

Across the planet, 75% of the sick have recovered, in the Americas 65%, and in Cuba 91%. The percentage of active cases as compared to the population in Cuba is seven, while in the world it stands at 21.8% and in Latin America, over 31.4%.

- More than 36 million cases in the world

- 17 million in Latin America

- 5,917 cases in Cuba


With such indicators, Diaz-Canel questioned the logic of maintaining strict restrictions, stating that the more intelligent strategy is to learn to live with the disease, to reinitiate economic and social activities, strengthen prevention and treatment protocols, and aspire to a new normality with a minimum of risk, with things done well.

Referring to changes made to the strategy, he emphasized the need to explain these modifications in depth, to ensure confidence and support from the people and, above all, to increase risk perception, since the virus is present, ready to take advantage of any violation of established measures or protocols.

The President insisted that now is the time to move toward greater participation by the people and shared responsibility, on the individual, family, community and societal levels, in particular, in schools, factories, stores, and public places.

Discussing another of the results attained that show the scope of the COVID battle in Cuba, the President noted that 100% of confirmed cases and their contacts have been treated in hospitals. Moreover, our intensive care units never collapsed.

There have been no deaths of children, pregnant women or health personnel within the country, the President stated, although we lament the deaths of four medical collaborators working outside of Cuba.

Regarding other praiseworthy results, he highlighted the 700 research projects and 16 clinical trials underway, involving 13 bioproducts. At the same time, the President recalled, 52 medical cooperation brigades are combating COVID-19 around the world, and professionals already working in these nations have joined them.

Similarly, he praised the work of doctors, nurses, scientists, laboratory technicians and all those who have participated in the confrontation; as well as the role of young people and students, along with the participation of provincial and municipal governments, political and mass organizations, and the people.

In his remarks, Díaz-Canel also called attention to the importance of planning, an element of our system, much-criticized at times, which has guaranteed, in the midst of this situation, the availability of basic subsidized food items, the regulated provision of additional foodstuffs, cleaning and personal hygiene supplies, in a context of closed borders, contraction of the market, and fierce economic and financial persecution by the U.S. government.

It is almost a miracle, he said, the truth is that behind this miracle is an idea to defend, a people, experiences, principles and the thinking of Fidel and Army General Raul Castro Ruz.

In Cuba, Díaz-Canel stated, life is our principal treasure. Thus, we are all called upon to change some ways of behaving, to live with the disease with the least possible risk.

It is time to raise the level of responsibility we assume, he insisted, to maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently, abide by sanitary measures, wear face masks, avoid closed spaces and crowds, and facilitate everything that helps us take care of each other.

Our main strength, he reiterated, is our human capital, which has placed us in the vanguard of those in the world seeking a cure for the disease through a vaccine; but given what’s available at this time, we must use the only vaccine that has proven to be effective: discipline, personal and social responsibility.


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