HAVANA (Reuters) – The Cuban authorities is as soon as extra shutting down colleges, public transport and cultural actions throughout swathes of the Caribbean island throughout the worst outbreak of the coronavirus for the reason that pandemic started.
Cuba has registered new day by day information of infections for the final six days, together with 550 on Wednesday, and has already recorded extra infections within the first 12 days of 2021 than in your complete earlier month.
Cuba has 11 million folks and whereas it nonetheless solely has half the worldwide common of day by day confirmed instances per capita, at 43 instances per million, that’s up from round one-tenth for many of final 12 months when authorities have been hailed for his or her profitable containment of the virus.
“We have to work intensely … And we have to shut traces,” Cuba’s high epidemiologist Francisco Duran stated in a day by day televised briefing on Wednesday.
Authorities say vacationers from hard-hit international locations akin to the USA who did not comply with hygiene protocols like quarantine largely precipitated the surge. The federal government has sharply decreased flights from these international locations and launched a requirement to check detrimental earlier than touring to Cuba.
Critics say it ought to have required the take a look at as quickly because it opened borders final November, as did some neighboring islands, and its mismanagement of the economic system along with U.S. sanctions is responsible for hours-long queues exterior supermarkets which might be complicating social distancing.
Cuba has 4 vaccine candidates in trials and stated it expects one among them to be prepared to begin vaccinating residents throughout the first half of this 12 months though some Cubans are involved it has not introduced a backup plan in case none of them succeed.
The federal government has not stated it’s negotiating with another producers for entry to vaccines. It referred to as its first two vaccine candidates Soberana 1 and a pair of – Spanish for “sovereign”, underscoring its quest for self-reliance.
(Reporting by Sarah Marsh and Nelson Acosta; enhancing by Grant McCool)
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