Covid in Cuba: New Restrictions in Trinidad

Image of the Trinidad hospital shared on social networks to denounce the collapse of the center. (Facebook)

By 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES – It has not been three days since the official press announced the preparation of the city of Trinidad for the return of tourism starting in November, but until that time comes, there will be little opening. This past Thursday, new restrictions come into force to contain coronavirus infections, which in recent days have been skyrocketing in the town.

The previous day, the municipality had 275 positive cases — far ahead of Sancti Spíritus, with 175 — and on Thursday, 212. The province maintains an accumulated incidence of 1,849.59 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

On social networks, images and testimonies multiply of Sancti Spiritus citizens that show the overwhelmed situation in the Trinidad hospital. “Although the city received a group of doctors as reinforcements, the situation is so critical that they cannot cope,” says a post on Facebook about the city.

“The province is still experiencing an increase in cases and if we multiply those that are emerging by the probable number of contacts (10 on average for each one), soon the figures will be much more alarming,” said Deivy Pérez Martín, a member of the Committee Party central and first secretary of the organization in the province.

To try to contain the rate of infection, the measures that come into force today especially affect mobility restrictions, to avoid non-essential traffic. All administrative procedures and shopping centers are paralyzed, including bakeries, restaurants and state and private cafeterias, which will only be able to sell food until 2:00 in the afternoon.

On weekends, no establishment may open and businesses operated by the self-employed are closed, except for those selling take-out food, which will be allowed to carry out the activity until 1:00.

Shared public transport is paralyzed, except for essential workers linked to health, commerce, education, the food industry and community services. Cars or tricycles will be able to circulate.

For their part, private vehicles will be allowed to circulate on alternate days, according to the last digit of the plate: Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the case of even numbers and cars without registration; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for odd numbers. On Sundays, no means of transport may travel that has not been authorized.

From 2:00 pm it is forbidden to move around the city on bicycles, electric and combustion tricycles, in addition to circulating on the street in a general way.

“To stop this travel we have to adopt extreme measures in the province, the people have been asking for measures constantly,” said Pérez Martí, who believes that if the numbers of infections in Trinidad continue to rise, it is because the residents do not follow the serious restrictions.

“The [measures] that we have been applying since September last year are more or less the same as those that have been put into practice in all the provinces, but they have not always been applied effectively. There has been a lack of systematic control and discipline, and all this because there is no requirement,” he said at the meeting on Wednesday held to review the situation.

However, the people of Sacti Spiritus are not clear on how the new measures can help to reduce the pandemic. “On the contrary, everything is going to get worse,” a Trinidad resident tells 14ymedio, “because if there is nowhere to get the little food, it will be worse.” People even joke, the woman continues, wondering if the covid “understands odd and even plates.”

Among the readers of the provincial newspaper, Escambray, the division has once again been seen between those who consider it a good idea to restrict mobility and the many who consider that time limitations mean more queues or more people on the street in the same period of time.

“My dad went to his bodega (ration store) yesterday at 5:30 in the morning and returned at 12 o’clock; just for eggs he risked his health, look at how many hours,” says one reader, while another reproaches that common citizens have to go on foot for medicines but they see that “the leaders drive around in cars with their families.”

Trinidad, Cuba. Photo by Sylvia Kirk

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.


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