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News > Cuba

Case of the South African SARS-CoV-2 Strain Detected in Cuba

  • Despite the contagiousness of this new strain,Cuba's containment measures are the same.

    Despite the contagiousness of this new strain,Cuba's containment measures are the same. | Photo: CubaSi

Published 22 January 2021 (3 hours 31 minutes ago)
Opinion

The head of the Research, Diagnosis and Reference Center of the Pedro Kourí Tropical Medicine Institute, Doctor María Guadalupe Guzmán, informed today at a press conference of the detection in Cuba of an imported case of the South African strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

Based on the border protocols for the pandemic's surveillance and control, the variant was detected in an asymptomatic traveler, the scientist confirmed.

Guzmán specified that the patient and his contacts were isolated and showed no symptoms of the infectious disease.

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Cuba Reports Record Number of COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

According to Guzman, it cannot be assured, nor discarded, that the increase of COVID-19 cases in the country is due to the establishment of this variant, which has a greater capacity for dissemination and transmission.

Regarding the virulence of the new strains, Guzman pointed out that their capacity to cause more complex cases of the disease have not been demonstrated; however, as they are transmitted more efficiently, the possibility of contagion of vulnerable groups increases, and with it, a more significant number of severe cases and deaths.

Despite the contagiousness of these strains, she stressed, the containment measures are the same.

At the conference, the National Director of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Francisco Durán García, informed that 530 positive cases of the new coronavirus were reported during the day, which brings the number of patients diagnosed with the pathogen in the country to over 20,000 since last March.

Durán García regretted four people's death during the day, bringing the total number of deaths due to the disease to 188.

"Based on border protocols for the surveillance and control of the pandemic, the South African strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, was detected in an asymptomatic traveler, the scientist confirmed."

The specialist warned about the high transmission levels in Havana and Guantanamo territories, which report greater dispersion of SARS-CoV-2 among their municipalities.

With 200 new local cases Friday, the capital presents high epidemiological complexity, while Guantanamo continues to be the province with the highest incidence rate of confirmed cases of the virus.

A total of 4,526 patients are active in Cuba, of which 4,581 show stable clinical evolution and 45 are in intensive care (14 critical and 31 severe).

The National Director of Epidemiology informed that 67 of the new cases of the day are of pediatric age, for an accumulated total of 2,138 diagnosed in the country to date.

Of these, 462 cases remain active, and two infants continue to be reported as severe.

With the 567 discharges accounted for during the day, there are now 15,311 patients recovered from COVID-19 in the country.

Among the 530 new cases, 489 are autochthonous, and 41 are imported, of which four are foreigners.

According to figures provided by the health authority, 56.2 percent of the cases reported in Cuba since last November 15 have been linked to international travelers.

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