By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES – The Covid-19 surge in Cuba continues with records set Saturday in both new positive cases and deaths (9,747 and 87) in the country with a population of 11.2 million. The data is from Ministry of Public Health.
The situation is dire in Guantanamo, which leads the island with new cases with 1,314 in a population of 510,000. According to a Havana Times source, hospitals are way beyond capacity and medicines, in general, and even for Covid treatment, are scarce in the far eastern Cuban province.
The province of Ciego de Avila is now second with per cápita new positives with 993 on Saturday in a population of approx. 422,000. Then comes Matanzas with 883 new cases in a population of 690,000. Cienfuegos has 515 new cases with a population of 405,000 followed by Havana with 1,938 new cases among its 2.016 million people.
Ninety miles away, Florida is leading the US in new cases with 21,683 reported on Friday in a population of 21.5 million inhabitants a slightly higher ratio than Cuba.
Meanwhile the Cuban government is beginning to hand out donation packages with 3 or 4 food products sent by Mexico, Russia and Nicaragua to help mitigate the crisis that in part led to the massive July 11th protests.
Cuba is facing extreme shortages of basic foods. For decades the government grew accustomed to importing 60 – 80% of the country’s food needs from the United States, Brazil, Mexico and other countries but no longer has the money to pay for them.
Leaders pep talks and minor tweaks to failed farm polices have not improved the situation. Once the world’s leading sugar exporter, Cuba now even needs to import part of what is consumed domestically.