or save yourself if you can III
By Regina Cano
HAVANA TIMES – Nearly twenty days after the first case of SARS-CoV-2 was reported on the island, Cuba has announced it is still in phase 1 – the inter-epidemic period -, although community transmission has been reported in Matanzas, as there are four other (secondary) cases of COVID-19 from one infected person.
By today, March 30, official sources report 170 confirmed cases in hospitals and more than 2600 Cubans and foreigners in hospitals under observation.
From the above, it appears that the number of infected (which has been steadily increasing up until now) could grow exponentially, like it has in other countries, in hotspots at first, and then across the entire country.
That’s to say that while the number of sick people appears to have been steadily increasing or within concentrated areas, a short transmission chain, this number could suddenly skyrocket and multiply from the previous number of people, for example: 5, 25, 625 and so on, according to baseline data of the number of people infected which is variable, like a shock wave, given the fact Coronavirus highly contagious.
Anyhow, this is just a theory, but it could become reality in terms of probability.
This might happen in spite of our government thinking that they have implemented measures before the following phases, looking at the Chinese experience it seems.
In addition to advising the population about taking proper hygiene measures (washing hands, using a mask and hand sanitizer and disinfectant on surfaces), they have also added people keeping a sensible distance away from each other, limiting movement in public spaces – “social distancing”.
As well as prevention via keeping close tabs on the entire population nationwide by following the contacts of the infected. This also includes the involvement of police forces to ensure that orders to only go outside in the case of essential needs or not having children or the elderly outside, to name a few, are complied with.
In the meantime, there were many protests on social media about Airports not being shut down in time or for letting travelers off a British cruise ship with 5 confirmed cases, enter the country for repatriation.
At this point in time, Jose Marti International Airport is the only one currently operating, partially, receiving approximately a hundred and so Cubans and foreign residents, up until a few days ago, it was announced. However, there are still foreign tourists on the island who should have already left by now and are instead enjoying the safety that Cuba offers, in comparison with their own countries.
Home quarantine is being observed after airports were closed, but according to witness accounts, people who returned a while ago and whose quarantine should be ending, home quarantine that is, are beginning to be isolated. They have been monitored by doctors and are now being sent to isolation centers, at the risk of becoming infected within these very centers.
This specific measure warns about the extreme decision that certain groups are being made to observe, in this case travelers returning to the island (including Cubans working on international government missions) and their families, who are at risk of catching the virus in these centers, when they have observed over half or are nearly finishing their magic 14 days in self-quarantine. They could be observed by doctors for another few days, be tested again so that the number of people infected in these isolation centers doesn’t grow.
But no, we’ll be like every other country, where the weakest die and only those who are strong enough to overcome the disease will survive.
In these isolation centers, despite the government announcing that they have many of the necessary safety measures in place to contain the virus, there is also a high risk of infection, thereby opening a new front for infection.