Cuba Slowly Inserts Itself into the New Post-COVID Normality

By Alejandra Garcia on October 3, 2021 from Havana

The Malecon, photo: Bill Hackwell

This weekend, for the first time in months, Cuba woke up to the news that the number of people infected with COVID-19 fell below 4,900. The incidence is still very high, but the number is encouraging because it is steadily trending down.

Abdala, Soberana 02, and Soberana Plus, the first vaccines produced by a Latin American country, and the only ones created by a low-income nation, are already showing results on the island. For several weeks now, the trend of contagions has been decreasing, as well as the number of active cases.

On Saturday, Cuba reported 4 097 new contagions, 46 deaths, and 6007 medical discharges, as reported in his daily appearance by the Ministry of Public Health (Minsap) National Director of Epidemiology, Dr. Francisco Duran.

The number of Cubans who have recovered from the disease, since the beginning of the pandemic, exceeds 96 percent. Authorities see a growing possibility of reopening the borders for commercial flights and tourism on November 15, which would be a relief for our battered economy.

Since last week, Havana’s beaches, swimming pools, and restaurants began receiving the people and the night curfew imposed from 9pm to 5am local time now starts an hour and a half later.

Authorities are already allowing residents of the capital, which has 90 % of the population of the island immunized, to carry out physical activities outdoors and to stroll along the Malecon, one of the most favored activities in La Habana.

For the first time in a year, the city’s coastal strip is now full of groups of young people with guitars, street vendors, and fishermen as its vibrancy returns.  Havana, which was one of the cities hardest hit by the pandemic in recent months, is slowly beginning to resume the daily life that Covid-19 took away from us.

This is possible primarily to the success of our vaccination campaign that has heroically persevered, despite so many obstacles.  As of September 30, 84.3 % of the population received the first dose of Cuban vaccines; 60%  received the second dose, and 46 % received the third dose.

Cuba also began a campaign to vaccinate young children starting at the age of two. It is expected that classes and other services will soon resume nationwide.

Our strategy has had to be carried out in conditions faced by no other nation, with extreme material limitations and the worsening of the economic and financial blockade imposed by the United States,” Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel said during a televised appearance.

However the enthusiasm about the advances in disease control should not blur our minds. We have to maximize compliance with sanitary measures. The call is not to diminish the perception of risk or neglect which is the responsibility of individual and social protection, he added.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – English