Havana, Cuba.- Cuba has taken surveillance and control measures in all international points of access to prevent the arrival in the country of any person carrying the new COVID-19 coronavirus.

Public Health Minister Jose Angel Portal explained that all airports have the lists of passengers, as well as their state of health upon arrival in Cuba, if they come from a country where the disease has been reported, as well as the place where they will stay in Cuba for follow-up.

He assured that the diagnostic kits and the lab capacity are available to determine what kind of respiratory virus is affecting the country, including the COVID-19.

Cuba can diagnose 17 viruses, including Influenza A and B, and acute respiratory infections that are frequently reported at this time of the year.

It can also identify other types of coronaviruses that have nothing to do with the COVID-19.

The Public Health minister noted that so far this year, more than 500 tests for respiratory viruses have been made, and 45% of them have been positive, and the Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute has made eight tests for the new coronavirus, all of which were negative, thus showing the efficacy of the means available in the country.

Regarding the medical centers to attend to possible patients, he noted that there are 100 intensive care units throughout the country, as well as medical professionals and national and international protocols in place to treat the virus. He also said that all military hospitals are available to provide those services.

Portal noted the absence of the COVID-19 in Cuba, but he warned that the risk is present and constant, due to the existence of the coronavirus in neighboring countries, so people must be on the alert and take care of their health and others’ if there are symptoms of the disease such as fever, cough, runny nose, throat ache and general discomfort, similar to those caused by any other kind of flu.