Cuba Confirms its First Three Coronavirus Cases

The Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK), in Havana.  Photo: Diario de Cuba

HAVANA TIMES – The fear that the coronavirus could arrive in Cuba at any moment has now become a reality with the first confirmed cases.

Tonight, Wednesday, March 11, the State TV newscast reported that three infected Italian tourists have been detected.

Below we publish the full press release:

Press Release from the Ministry of Public Health: Three tourists in Cuba have the new coronavirus

The evolution of the three confirmed patients is favorable and none to date presents a danger to their lives.

Our country has been preparing to confront the pandemic caused by the appearance of the new coronavirus, which affects more than one hundred countries today and has caused a considerable number of sick and deceased.

As a result of the implementation of the National Plan for the Prevention and Control of this disease, and the intensive surveillance of Respiratory Syndromes, suspicious cases have been identified and hospitalized.

On March 10, 2020, four Italian tourists with respiratory symptoms were identified who were staying in a hostel in the city of Trinidad in Sancti Spíritus province and who had arrived at the José Martí International Airport in Havana on Monday, March 9, traveling that same day to Trinidad.

They were immediately admitted to the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK), in Havana.

On March 11, 2020, the IPK National Reference Laboratory reported that three of the four tourists isolated since the previous day were positive for the New Coronavirus SARS CoV-2.

Epidemiological surveillance and control actions are being carried out on people identified as contacts, who remain asymptomatic.

The evolution of the three confirmed patients is favorable and none to date have been in life-threatening situations.

35 thoughts on “Cuba Confirms its First Three Coronavirus Cases

  • Is good to have A Health Care System for all.

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  • bon courage à tous et soyez attentif

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  • I live in Canada and have a trip planned for March 31st to Cayo Santa Maria via Santa Clara airport, im hoping its safe to go there.

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    • Thomas, in the coming week or so it should become clearer if you should postpone your trip or not. Many people are in the same situation.

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  • I live in Canada and I have a 7 day trip in Varadero on March 21st should I postpone my trip, I am very unsure on going! ?

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    • Joyce, I think postponing is a good idea under the circumstances. We will keep people informed.

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  • We have a trip planned for March 17 from New Brunswick Canada to Cayo Santa Maria Cuba Should we go

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    • Hilda, I personally think its better to postpone your trip. But that’s just my personal opinion considering the circumstances.

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  • Im also going to Cayo Santa Maria march 21st for 12 days. Also live in Canada

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    • Sheila, You might be fine on your vacation, but personally I’d say its not a great time and might be better postponed.

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  • I’m planning on coming to Varadero, Cuba around May27 2020. I live in Waterloo ,Ontario, Canada. Just wondering what the situation will be like by then.

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    • Debby, its hard to say what the situation will be like in Cuba or anywhere else. Your trip is far enough ahead that you should just stay informed and make a postponement decision in late april or early may.

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    • We have planned a trip to cayo coco,morijto isberton resort for march 23rd for ten days. Should we go?

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      • Heather I think it would be very wise to postpone your trip. All advisories point in that direction.

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      • We are going to morijto isberton resort in Cayo coco Cuba on March 23rd for ten days. Should we go or postpone?

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        • Heather I think it would be very wise to postpone your trip. All advisories point in that direction.

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  • I am from Nova Scotia Canada and have a 7 day vacation to Holguin on March 26 th. Do you think it will be safe ?

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    • It a tough call. Plenty of people haven’t been safe in over 100 countries. Cuba has just seen its first 3 cases. They will make their best effort to protect, but the lack of even basic cleaning supplies doesn’t bode well for the population. The way countries are closing down airline travel I personally would postpone my trip.

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  • I have a planned trip to varadero on April 3rd, we are certainly worried! 🙁

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    • Maybe give it another week or so, stay informed and then decide whether to postpone. But the likelihood that things look better in the short run isn’t good.

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  • British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix, said anyone who chooses to travel outside Canada must self-isolate for 14 days when arriving back in B.C. This includes people who are coming back to B.C. now.

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  • We are booked for march 24th at the Grand Muthu.we did’nt buy the cancelation fees.is it safe to go?.can we get our money back.

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    • Obviously you will have to communicate with whoever you bought the trip from. Is it safe to go? The best one could say is, maybe. However, you may be put in quarantine in your home country upon return. Cuba just discovered their 4th case, and its much to early to tell how far it will expand around the island.

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  • I have lived in Cuba for a few years, and knowing what kind of security measures they have, the army will be brought in to the airports to screen and question passengers. If I had a trip planned for Cuba right now, I would definitely postpone my trip. Better to postpone now than risking being denied entry into the country later.

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  • I pray Cuba will succeed and be protected from the scourge of the Covid_19 virus by its long experience in disaster management, including a bio-terrorist attack that killed a half a million pigs. (The Terrorist List, and Terrorism as Practiced Against Cuba
    http://www.coha.org/22355/).

    As a definite must, Cuba must temporarily halt tourism from Italy even though it’s a vital cash cow, perhaps second after Canadian tourists.

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  • The issue with people going from places such as Canada is not that they might catch the virus in Cuba.
    It is far more of a worry that they will take the virus from places such as Canada to Cuba.

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  • I am definitely traveling from the US to Cuba for a few weeks in early April, a few weeks in early June, and trying to arrange a few weeks in early May. I will be departing a country, the US, with currently 1,600 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in spite of inadequate testing for a country with only 3 cases. I support Cuba’s efforts to insure we do not bring more problems into Cuba.

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  • As much as didnt want to rebook, I did. It’s not the concern about catching COVID19 while in cuba, it was more about possibly having more of the disease come into a country that doesn’t have the means to deal with an increase of cases. There is little or no soap, hand sanitizers, face masks, so the control and containment would be difficult. My favorite country has been around for centuries, and I would just be selfish to want to continue with my holiday plans just to have a week of sun and sand, yet the possibility of being a contributing factor to months of unnecessary hardships and sickness for my Cuban friends is not worth the risk to them.

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  • we have a trip leaving March 29 to cayo coco cuba to paradiso hotel should we go pr cancel our trip

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    • A lot of people are asking similar questions. My recommendation is try to postpone your trip. However, that said, Cuba says some people might prefer to be there than their own countries. One problem that could arise by your trip back home is that your flight is cancelled or that you are forced into a quarantine situation upon returning home. Therefore, if you decide to brave it and go on your scheduled trip make sure you have a good amount of extra money in case your stay becomes prolonged.

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  • Sorry to hear that the Co-vid 19 virus is there in CUBA. I was wondering when some tourist would travel there with it? Yes, the Italians have been hit hard with the Co-vid19, cases are up 17% in ITALY today alone. Their people have been put on lock down and there is a travel ban to almost anywhere. There are soo many cases as the Italians and Chinese are constantly flying back and forth to support their sports teams. Glad that you have a facility to address this disease.
    The Cubans need to take all the precautions indicated in the article as they are very vulnerable.
    I have visited CUBA twice and love that Country! Stay well!

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  • I hope that Cuba practices transparency as they work through the effects of this pandemic. Admitting these first 4 (maybe 5) cases is an encouraging first step. I happened to be Cuba a few years ago at the same time Cuba was going through a cholera outbreak. There was a huge disconnect between what was published in Granma or repeated on the national news and what was clearly being seen on the streets. Fidel Castro’s ego continues to dominate the political apparatchik by minimizing if not ignoring bad news and exaggerating if not outright inventing good news. As COVID-19 runs its course in Cuba, giving the Cuban people and foreigners all the facts will go a long way to helping everyone to make the best decisions regarding their personal health care.

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  • Good luck trying to get out of the country no more air canada just laid off 5000 workers here canada us border closed to all unecental people toronto has over 300 cases now thankfully I’m not one of them

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