HAVANA, Cuba.- The intense working day on Monday, which began in the Palace of the Revolution with the participation of President of the Republic Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, in the Online Summit level Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group under the theme of “United against COVID-19 pandemic”, had as a culmination the usual meeting of the temporary working group for the prevention and control of the new coronavirus, headed daily by the Head of State and the Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz.
With the confirmation of 19 positive patients to COVID-19, Cuba recorded on Monday the fewest daily cases in the last fifteen days, a figure that although places Cuba in a better scenario, cannot constitute a reason for the population to be complacent, and it is essential, in addition, to maintain a strict surveillance on each case, mainly in the places where local transmission events are open.
Regarding the latter aspect, Public Health Minister Jose Angel Portal Miranda commented on the closure of four local transmission events, in which 28 days passed after the last case was confirmed. They are the International School of Film and Television, in San Antonio de los Banos municipality, Artemisa province; that of Naranjal People’s Council, located in Matanzas municipality; as well as El Carmelo and Vedado, both from Havana municipality of Plaza de la Revolucion.
Likewise, it was detailed that a new local transmission event was opened in Luyano Moderno Popular Council, in San Miguel del Padron municipality, including six blocks and a population of 3,296 inhabitants. So far there ten positive cases have been confirmed to COVID-19, linked to a family event, Portal Miranda stated.
Associated with this, the Public Health Minister recalled that 35 such events remain active in the country, reported in 11 provinces (Pinar del Rio, Havana, Mayabeque, Matanzas, Villa Clara, Sancti Spiritus, Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba, and Guantanamo) and Island of Youth Special Municipality.
In the midst of the complex scenario in Havana province, which with 791 confirmed cases maintains the highest number of patients positive to the disease in the country, Governor Reinaldo Garcia Zapata pointed out some strategies applied in the territory, regarding health primary care of and hospital management of patients, both suspicious and confirmed.
Garcia Zapata also referred to a number of actions to strengthen social isolation at this stage, where it is essential to continue increasing the perception of risk in the population and promoting social isolation.
In close relation to this last aspect and after the Cuban Government’s clear intention to continue saving lives, President Diaz-Canel called on the population not to spoil the progress made, particularly when next Sunday Mother’s Day will be celebrated, a sensitive issue for the population and which needs to be taken with a sense of responsibility.
“We have been advancing in the confrontation with COVID-19,” he emphasized, “but we cannot be complacent and, therefore, we must maintain, even on Mother’s Day, social isolation and call on our people to respect it.”
Later, Deputy Prime Minister and also Minister of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil Fernandez, updated on the implementation of already approved measures related to the operation of day-care centers; the delivery of magnetic cards at bank branches; and the temporary suspension of t self-employment activities to licensees who have requested it, mainly those related to freight and passenger transport, contracted workers, homeowner, rooms and spaces, gastronomic services in cafes and beauty services.
Gil Fernandez also reported on the forthcoming implementation of measures related to the payment of temporary stimulation to comprehensive health service assistants and laundry equipment operators working in isolation and hospital centers with patients confirmed with the new coronavirus, and who in the current context are subjected to a higher than usual working intensity.
In order to reduce the traffic of state vehicles, the Minister of Economy and Planning also reported the decision to paralyze a part of them, which may only circulate if they have an authorization approved by provincial Defense councils. In this way, about 37,000 vehicles will be stopped to avoid additional mobility and facilitate that of those linked to production processes or other activities vital to maintain the functioning of the country.
This measure, the official said, requires control on the streets, so that no state vehicle is driving without proper authorization.
With regard to this measure, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz emphasized it is not a decision of the Ministry of Transport to stop one or the other vehicle, but it is the result of the call made by the country’s leadership to stop cars wherever work activities have been closed and part of a conciliation with all ministries and national agencies, who reported which vehicles are going to be stopped.
On the other hand, Gil Fernandez also informed that the distribution of mail shipments to home will be activated, in principle in Havana and later it will be extended throughout the country, taking advantage of the transport of Correos de Cuba itself used to transfer products from purchases from virtual stores through the Tuenvio.cu platform. The official commented that more than 500 thousand packages are ready for delivery in the Cuban capital and there are conditions to take them to homes.
The ministers of Food Industry, Manuel Sobrino Martinez, and of Agriculture, Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero, two crucial sectors for the food of the population, accounted for the work that in this complex scenario is carried out on different fronts.
Taken from the Presidency of the Republic web site