In view of the acute global epidemiological situation caused by the spread of the new coronavirus causing COVID-19 disease, Cuba is strengthening surveillance measures at all levels of the health system and international health control.
Dr. Manuel Romero Placeres, director of the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK), in Havana, warned that COVID-19 is one of the most highly virulent coronaviruses and is genotypically stronger, and if protection measures are not taken properly, the consequences of the epidemic could be devastating.
Romero Placeres pointed out that about 15 percent of the respiratory illnesses registered annually in Cuba have their origin in a coronavirus, but COVID-19 is the one that has caused so much damage recently in the world, where there are now more than 100 affected nations, including a dozen countries in America.
Referring to the epidemiological situation that could be generated in Cuba, he added that so far some people have entered the country under epidemiological surveillance in response to suspicions, and eight samples have been analyzed, with negative results.
He explained there are three centers in Cuba to carry out molecular biology studies of these samples with the kit donated by PAHO: the IPK in Havana, which will receive the samples from the west of the country, as well as references from two other laboratories.
The one in Villa Clara will receive the samples from the center of the country, and Santiago de Cuba, the cases from the entire east, Romero Placeres emphasized.
Cuban scientist indicated that samples should be taken between the first and seventh day, although the ideal range is between the third and the fifth.
Any person with epidemiological criteria will be monitored, and if a case is confirmed, the health system is prepared to deal with it, with the essential support of the citizenry, the IPK director concluded.