HAVANA, Cuba.- “Acting responsibly is how we can contribute to saving human lives,” the President of the Republic, Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, insisted on Wednesday afternoon during the meeting that daily evaluates the behavior of the new coronavirus in the country and in which Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz unveiled new measures aimed at containing the progress of COVID-19 in the national territory.
They, the Prime Minister explained, seek to increase social isolation, which is currently the main medicine to prevent contagion from the disease in the population.
In that regard, Marrero informed the decision to postpone, for the time being, the collection of electricity, water and gas services, except those that could be carried out electronically, from which the public service offices where those payment are made are closed.
The Prime Minister explained that monthly billing will be maintained at the same rates. The postponement of payments will not lead to any penalty or interruption of services and, once they are restarted in the different offices, people are obliged to go to them to pay their due.
Associated with the consumption of electricity, the Prime minister called the population remaining at home to save as much as possible, because logically consumption rates have increased these days.
He also explained that the payment of fines was temporarily suspended at the offices established for this purpose, and in the case of those already imposed, the expiry period would be extended. The obligation to pay is maintained when offices reopen to the public, he emphasized, only that in the current scenario the surcharges established in cases where the fine is not paid within the legally prescribed period will not apply.
Marrero Cruz further insisted that other activities and services that can be suspended or reduced will continue to be identified in order to promote as much social isolation as possible.
Likewise, he ratified the already announced measure of eliminating the provision of services in restaurants and cafes, in which only the sale of takeaways and home service will be maintained, at limited times.
The Prime Minister clarified that no alcoholic beverages would be offered in these units, and all bar services are therefore closed. Consequently, the selling of these drinks will only be carried out in shops.
On the new decisions, the President of the Republic reiterated that other measures continued to be evaluated, while continuing to analyze the population’s views and assessing the experiences of each territory to socialize them.
On the other hand, the Head of State highlighted that on this Wednesday afternoon “we had the opportunity to meet again with all the scientific staff w working to support the pandemic confrontation.” There are several projects that are already yielding results, he said, and others are advancing and opening the prospects for a very important contribution in the coming weeks for all that has been done.
In this regard, Diaz-Canel detailed that the modelling of pandemic behavior has been consolidated to the extent that data on its occurrence in the country and the comparison and study of the situation of nations with characteristics similar to ours have advanced.
Those models indicates we are approaching a time when we are going to have a more complex situation, as we have been proclaiming and clearly explaining to the population, the President insisted.
Therefore we must continue to stress that responsible action is needed. “Responsible behavior of each of us is also the way we can better respect the rest of our compatriots, the rest of our citizens,” he said.
He recognized that we know that the situation is tough, and it requires personal sacrifice, family sacrifice and sacrifice on a social level, but that sacrifice is precisely for a thing as uplifting as being able to save human lives.
In turn, the Cuban President underlined how important and decisive the diagnosis that can be made in time of asymptomatic people or those who already have symptoms, so that this allows to act immediately in the treatment of them and also in the field of the contacts they have had.
And in order to continue isolating contacts and separating the chains of transmission from the disease, he underlined that “we need more social isolation; we have not yet achieved the levels we need in social isolation.”
Referring to certain procedures for which people have to go out to the streets, particularly those associated with certain purchases, the Cuban President insisted on the call to the population to act responsibly and prevent us from reaching a situation that we have to regret later, because of the intensity in which this disease appears.
In the face of this inevitable scenario, the Cuban President said it is necessary, first of all, to maintain the rules of social isolation, and secondly to try to get a minimum of people out into the family. In turn, he reiterated the importance of continuing to consolidate the mechanisms by which vulnerable people are differently served, which can be older adults or families with a particular situation.
In the face of the current complex scenario, there are many people forced to isolate and they despair because they want to collaborate, because they want to be on the front line of the pandemic. “We tell them that the best way to collaborate these days is to take care of themselves and take care of ourselves in compliance with the social estrangement measures we have been guiding,” Diaz-Canel emphasized.
There are many stories of heroism these days, the President acknowledged, and often those starring them see them as a simple fulfillment of duty, but this altruistic and dedication act of commitment cannot be tarnished by the attitude of a group of irresponsible and undisciplined who ignore the warnings made by the authorities and the efforts that are being made.
Diaz-Canel found inadmissible that at times like these people still leave without need to frequent public places and have in them inappropriate behaviors; play dominoes or do other recreational activities on the streets; even partying in public places and consuming alcohol.
It is time, he said, so that we do not admit that buses and means of transportation are completely full of people, that someone climbs on them without Nasobuco or violates the regulations given. Diaz-Canel also found inadmissible that there are still places where research has not reached people for at least the first time. “Those are aspects we need to continue reviewing and improving in our daily action,” he said.
In this regard, he asked the forces of law and order to move from persuasion to rigorous action against those who manifest themselves as undisciplined and irresponsible way.
We must ratify, he insisted, that we will continue to recognize and applaud those who give everything to defeat the epidemic, but we will also continue to condemn and criticize the irresponsible.
As usual in these meetings, Minister of Public Health Jose Angel Portal Miranda, updated on the behavior of the disease in the country when 28 days have elapsed since the detection of the first cases of COVID-19 in the national territory.
At the meeting, also attended by the Second Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, Vice-President Salvador Valdes Mesa, and Deputy Prime Minister Roberto Morales Ojeda, it was also known about the measures taken to implement the Plan of confrontation and control of the new coronavirus in the provinces of Sancti Spíritus and Cienfuegos.
Taken from the presidency of Cuba web site