By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES – After writing the news item on Friday: “Covid Surge in Cuba Appears Out of Control” I received a couple email messages from readers who thought I was exaggerating the situation on the Island. Both claimed that the situation in the United States was far worse.
In fact, I did have my doubts on how the number of positive cases of Covid-19 in Cuba had jumped 68% in one day from Wednesday to Thursday. With only the government’s data to go on and no independent medical or citizen verification I took the figure at face value.
Then reviewing our article on Matanzas, by far the leader in the new coronavirus cases: Why are Covid-19 Cases Soaring in Matanzas? and noting the government’s rush to get more medical personal and equipment to that province, I became convinced that yes, the situation is dire.
Saturday morning provided the icing on the cake as the data from Friday reported by the Ministry of Health showed a new record number of positive cases at 6,750. The daily death toll was 31, also a record since Covid-19 reached Cuba in March 2020.
Now some readers may see those numbers as quite low compared to other countries like the perennial comparing point the USA. Nothing gives the Cuban Communist Party leaders more joy than showing up the wealthy northern neighbor in any sports contest, medical accomplishment, or in solidarity to other countries, etc.
However, revising the numbers and looking at charts on the global Covid-19 situation, one can see that in recent days Cuba has far surpassed the US in new per capita positive cases and fatalities. Remember Cuba has 11.2 million inhabitants some 30 times less than the US. Just for reference on Friday the US registered 48,241 new cases to Cuba’s 6,750 and 518 deaths to Cuba’s 31.
For some reason this information did not make it into the Cuban government media.
Noteworthy on Saturday is that fact that suddenly far eastern Guantanamo province is the number two territory in new positive cases with 932, followed by Havana with 608, Santiago de Cuba 500, Villa Clara 290 and Ciego de Avila 272. Once again Matanzas had the lead by far with 2,657.
As usual the government continues to focus on the feat of having homegrown vaccines in different trial phases, and blaming citizen indiscipline and the US embargo for its problems and deficiencies. They also insist that the leaders are working nonstop to address the emergency.
Editors Note: On Sunday morning the Cuban Health Ministry reports another record breaking day on Saturday for new Covid-19 positive cases as well as fatalities (6,923 and 47).