HAVANA, Cuba.- “We are facing a pandemic that means more than a health crisis, and it generates a commitment that goes beyond one person, so we all have to protect ourselves,” Public Health Minister Jose Angel Portal Miranda said.
Speaking at the Roundtable TV program, the Minister highlighted Cuba’s teamwork, not only from the Ministry of Public Health, but with the participation of all agencies, the country’s leadership and the people.
Portal Miranda updated on the international situation, with 182 countries showing confirmed cases of Covid-19, more than two million people infected, and a lethality that continues to increase.
On the scenario of Cuba, the Public Health Minister stated that the prognosis of the disease has moved to date between the favorable and middle scenario, and this has to do with the implemented measures, although we cannot be complacent.
Public Health Minister Jose Angel Portal Miranda ratified in the Roundtable TV program that Cuba remains in the limited indigenous transmission stage of Covid-19, and specified that, if necessary, some territory could be even moved to a next phase, and not the whole country.
Portal Miranda stated that 81 cases have been defined so far where the source of infection had not been determined, and highlighted the urgency of raising the perception of risk, maintaining social isolation and acting responsibly.
Public Health Minister highlighted the transparency and ethics with which the information related to Covid-19 has been worked on in the country, and reported that 26 local indigenous transmission events remain open.
Portal Miranda emphasized the effort of health workers, and noted that 92 of them have tested positive for the virus, all with stable evolution today.
A Battle for Life
Public Health Minister Jose Angel Portal underlined in the Roundtable TV program the importance of active research, key to identifying in time people with symptoms of the new coronavirus.
The official referred to the Virtual Researcher, a free-to-use tool, available on the web and as a mobile application, whose function is to provide more data to health authorities to combat Covid-19.
Faced with some concerns of the population, Portal conveyed confidence in the availability of capacities in Cuban hospitals to deal with the epidemic.
The expert said people must understand that isolation centers are not health institutions, and therefore do not always have the optimal conditions. He added a procedure was designed to inform family members about the condition of patients, and reiterated that drug certificates should not be renewed as long as the current situation persists.
School Year Will Restart Immediately
From the situation that Cuba is experiencing by the presence of Covid-19, the Ministry of Education decided not to restart the school year immediately, Minister Ena Elsa Velazquez, reported in the Roundtable TV program.
She explained that by the end of the course, 70 per cent of school weeks and planned exams had already been developed, which, together with what is being done, would allow to give the final evaluation in each subject when classes begin again.
The Minister highlighted that students with disapproved subjects will have the opportunity for revaluations, ensuring prior attention from teachers.
Velazquez said the Cuban family could have confidence that students will go through grades with the quality required by the education system, but, she emphasized, it is important to continue preparing.
A New Stage of Television Classes Begins
Minister of Education Ena Elsa Velazquez reported at the Roundtable TV program that from next Monday a second stage of television activities begins, which coincides with the last period of the school year.
She explained that four spaces for ninth grade are incorporated, classes for 12-graders end and an hour is spent on subjects that go to admission tests, as well as joining INDER and Ministry of Culture programming.
On the students finishing high school, the Minister of Education said that when it is possible the plan of places will be drawn up, the application ballots will be given and locations will be awarded.
She stated that those interested in entering special high schools would carry out admission tests when the situation allows, and the direct award to winners of national competitions and those who passed the 9th grade at those centers is maintained.
University Education in Fight against Covid-19
The Minister of Higher Education, Jose Ramon Saborido, explained in the Roundtable TV program how Cuban universities have managed to comply with the measures proposed to support, from knowledge, the fight against Covid-19.
Universities have remained active, welcoming more than a thousand foreign students who are studying in Cuba, Saborido said.
He further indicated that 21 isolation centers were located in higher education facilities, where students and teachers who voluntarily decided to deal with the disease from the front line are working.
As another contribution from university education, Saborido pointed out that students, professors and researchers work on the development of new products for the treatment of the new coronavirus, and in computer applications such as the virtual researcher.
College studies Continue at Home
Minister of Higher Education Jose Ramon Saborido confirmed in the Roundtable TV program that the body has designed a set of actions to ensure the continuity of university processes.
The official emphasized the continuation of studies from home, which will ensure, in addition to different curriculum designs and several actions, a successful end to the school year and the start of the next one.
Saborido called students who will have to take admission exams to Higher Education, to continue deepening and preparing for when the time comes when they can apply.
For those who are in processes of conclusion of the university career, the Minister explained that it will be possible to carry out the final exercises assessing the skills required in each specialty.
Photos taken from Cubadebate