Havana, Cuba.- The Cuban Ministry of Public Health has taken strict preventive measures to protect senior citizens from the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

Alberto Fernandez, head of the Elderly, Social Assistance and Mental Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health, explained that Cuba is among the most aged countries in the region with 20.8% of its population over 60 years of age; that is, more than two million people.

Cuba’s elderly clubs are subordinated to a polyclinic to receive all medical services, and each of them is associated to a family doctor’s office, he pointed out.

They also have a staff of social workers who have been trained to carry out surveys on respiratory problems. These professionals report the first symptoms and act according to the guidelines of the National Prevention and Control Plan, Fernandez pointed out.

Something similar happens at elderly homes, which have the same structure in the area where they are and, unlike the elderly clubs, they have an in-house physician and a nurse.

Therefore, Fernandez told Granma, actions such as hand washing, the hygiene of all areas, including during activities, are closely observed. We insist on cleaning seats, tables and other surfaces with chlorinated and alcoholic solutions.

Therefore, when there is a sign of respiratory deficiency we do not waste a minute, the protocol is activated, the expert added.

The person is isolated in our institutions or in the area’s infirmary until he/she is transferred by ambulance, as established, to the isolation centers, Fernandez pointed out.

These measures are taken because senior citizens have a weak immune capacity and they often suffer from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, diabetes or hypertension, which can cause complications in case of getting sick with Covid-19.

The Ministry of Public Health has made emphasis on elderly people who live alone, who total 221,425 nationwide.

Cuba has more than 294 elderly clubs, 155 elderly homes, 39 facilities to take care of them when they suffer from cognitive deterioration, and 30 psycho-pedagogical medical centers.