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Cuba adds 405 new covid cases, the lowest number of positives this week

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Several people with masks buy products in a market in Havana (Cuba). EFE / Ernesto Mastrascusa / Archive

Havana, Jan 16 (EFE) .- Cuba reported this Saturday the lowest number of new COVID-19 infections so far this week, with 405 positives, 27 imported, for a cumulative 17,501 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the daily report of the Ministry of Public Health (Minsap).
The country, which is going through a third wave of the disease, set three consecutive records earlier this week to a maximum of 550 cases on Wednesday, and has regressed in reopening and re-imposing restrictions in most of its territory.
The current incidence rate in the country is 37.19 per 100,000, according to official data advanced on Friday night by the Cuban Minister of Public Health, José Ángel Portal.
In the last day there were 4 deaths from the new coronavirus, a figure that had not been reached since last May, during the first wave of the pandemic. The total number of deaths to date thus rises to 166.
The number of active cases reached a new high today, with 4,123 confirmed patients, among which there are 15 people in critical condition – including a minor – and 31 seriously.
8,200 people remain admitted to Cuban hospitals: in addition to active cases, there are 3,298 others hospitalized with suspicious symptoms and 779 under epidemiological surveillance.
Havana, where strong containment measures have been in force since this week, once again led the cases by provinces with 171 new infections, followed by Santiago de Cuba (47), Ciego de Ávila and Camagüey (43 both).
Imported cases continue to trend downward, two weeks after the arrival of flights from six countries in the region was limited to a minimum, including the United States, Mexico and Panama. From the 10th, travelers are also required to have a negative PCR to enter the country.
The head of Epidemiology of the Minsap, Francisco Durán, pointed out in his daily televised appearance that among the 27 new imported cases there are 9 from Russia, 6 from the United States, 3 from Spain, 2 from the United Kingdom and the remainder, from Belize. , Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Africa and Uruguay, one per country.
The Cuban authorities blame this third wave, the worst so far, for the purposes of the reopening of the airports in October, the failure to comply with the isolation protocols for travelers and the end-of-year celebrations.
In the last hours the Government decided to back three more provinces (Matanzas, Santiago and Guantánamo) to the “zero phase” or “limited autochthonous transmission”, in which the strictest limitations apply.
The capital already returned to that phase at the beginning of the week and put into effect on Thursday measures such as the closure of educational centers, bars, restaurants, beaches and swimming pools, time limitations of public transport and swimming pools and suspension of religious activities that involve concentration of people.
High fines are also in force for non-compliance with sanitary protocols such as the use of a mask, mandatory isolation for travelers arriving from abroad or the celebration of parties.

Ben Oakley
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