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Issue #1916      May 25, 2020

CORONAVIRUS IN CUBA

As was the case in many other countries, infected foreigners entering the country introduced the coronavirus to Cuba, infecting and spreading the virus to people who they came in contact with. The first such infection in Cuba was detected on 11th March.

The Cuban government introduced measures to prevent the spread of the virus in Cuba, and also provided medical brigades to assist other countries in their efforts to combat the spread of the virus and to save the lives of the critically ill.

Many businesses, shops, restaurants, tourist attractions, and hotels are closed. Public transport is virtually shut down with the exception of a skeleton service for essential services workers who have been issued with a card permitting access to transport. Many are working from home, and measures are in place to avoid large gatherings and non-essential movement of people.

A campaign of education and information has been carried out since the virus’ initial appearance. Health specialists have been advising on various topics such as dealing with isolation, methods of protection, and frequent meetings. Reports have been issued by the government, in conjunction with a daily report from the doctor in charge of the campaign.

Wearing a breathing mask is obligatory when leaving home and in the street.

The shops that remain open only permit a few people at a time inside, with lines of people waiting to enter, standing at least one metre apart.

The government has made the supply of food and essentials goods to the people a top priority. Extra eggs, chicken, beans, soap, and detergent have been issued on the ration booklet.

The elderly and vulnerable people who live alone have had food parcels delivered to them.

As of 20th May, the Coronavirus figures reported in Grandma were 1,887 infected and seventy-nine fatalities. There has been no death for one week.

Of the infected, most have recovered, and at the moment, there are 268 hospitalised in Cuba.

The US blockade is affecting many aspects of life in Cuba, and some other countries. Essential medical supplies must be obtained from China or other countries, sometimes at inflated costs, and there have been cases of medication shipments being blocked during this time of crisis.

The well-being of the people is the first priority in a socialist society. However, in some capitalist societies where the profit motive is supreme, there are moves toward starting up the economy and doing away with measures of protection against the virus.

In Fort Morro, at the entrance to Havana Harbor, a symbolic canon shot was fired at 9 PM. In centuries past, this was the signal that the gates of the old walled city were about to be closed. This act has been suspended because of the virus. Instead, people all over Cuba go out the front of the house, on their balconies or out a window and applaud the medical workers in appreciation of their efforts. In my street, this is carried out with enthusiasm.

There have been a lot of comments on social media and other sources that after the epidemiological crisis we are experiencing is over, we will build a different, better world.

We should beware of simplistic solutions as this will not happen spontaneously, just because we want it.

According to Granma International, neoliberalism has never had more fertile ground to impose its policies to the detriment of the public good.

Next article – ADELAIDE – VICTORY FOR INDEPENDENCE

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