Update from Cuba’s Governor regarding CoVid in Havana
Cubans in Cuba get a great deal of their news from Mesa Redonda Internacional (Spanish for International Round Table). It is common to see Cubans gather around the TV to listen to what policy makers and social activists have to say. The Round Table is considered one of their best sources of accurate information as a news analysis talk show broadcast by teleSUR, and is broadcast live from Havana, on Thursday nights. The Breath of Cuba Travel aims to bring you updates and information from Cuba as we learn of them.
The following information was posted on September 30, 2020 in CubaDebate and has been translated and condensed to give you some insights into what the current situation is in Cuba related to CoVid, in particular in Havana. CubaDebate is a Cuban website edited by the Circle of Cuban Journalists Against Terrorism. CubaDebate is meant to provide “a space for information and exchange on issues related to subversion actions and defamatory campaigns organized against Cuba.”
Restrictive measures in Havana have had a positive impact
Like many places in the world, Cuba has gone through several rounds of restrictions and quarantines. A few months ago, some restrictions were lifted, but after new cases erupted, those restrictions were put back in place for the past 30 days in Havana.
My sources in Trinidad and Havana tell me that there are more cases than reported, the same as we have seen in every other country including the USA where numbers have been grossly inaccurate. There have been a few cases in Trinidad and over 100 suspected in observation when some domestic tourists from Ciego de Avila visited Trinidad with the virus. The virus has had a tremendous impact on the economy of Cuba which is primarily reliant on tourism and foreign dollars.
During the Round Table of Sept 30, the governor of Havana, Reinaldo García Zapata, reported that the restrictive measures of extended quarantines and closures in Havana and Cuba have in fact had a positive impact.
In discussions at the Round Table, the governor stated, “The discipline, responsibility and unity of the Havana people in this combat has increased. Based on the indicators that measure the behavior of the pandemic in the city, there is a downward trend in the numbers of positive and active cases, towards epidemiological stability.”
He also reported that serious cases (critical or fatal) decreased significantly in September, compared to August.
There is a movement to begin to open and reorganize commerce to try to stimulate some economic movement.
Mandatory measures that are in effect in Havana include
1- Facial coverings in public at all times.
2- Social distancing in public places, work and educational centers along with increased sanitation efforts of hand washing.
3- Temperature control and checks in public places and workplaces where possible
4-The prohibition of the entry of people with respiratory symptoms and signs to work and study centers, and immediate referral to health institutions of anyone who might have the virus or have been exposed to an infected person.
No bars, no discos, no parties in Havana
While some commercial activities, state and private services will be restored in the capital, at about 50% capacity, bars, discotheques, public parties and private parties are still prohibited in the capital.
Beaches, state and private pools will be opened but at only about 30% of normal capacity.
Martínez Blanco said at the Round Table: “There is a trend towards epidemiological control.” There are currently no critical cases in the city, and the reported number of confirmed cases has declined, averaging only 21 in the past week.
Obviously, it is not easy to achieve a total absence of cases in a city like Havana. Cuba, like so many other places in the world, is preparing to adapt to what so many are referring to as a new normal where the virus will be present, but in which work must be done to move forward and stimulate new opportunities for the people and the nation. Many question what this new normal will bring in long term impacts psychologically, socially and economically.