Q24N – Havana. Cuba this week registered record numbers of infections and deaths from covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, amid “major challenges” economic and health, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday.
PAHO Director Carissa Etienne pointed out that infection and death rates are the highest on the Caribbean island since the global health emergency due to the new coronavirus was declared in early 2020.
“All age groups are affected: in the last week, more than 7,000 minors and almost 400 pregnant women tested positive for covid-19,” she said at a press conference.
“The transmission of covid-19 is still very active in Cuba,” said the Director of Health Emergencies of PAHO, Ciro Ugarte, highlighting the increase in the occupation of beds in medical centers and field hospitals equipped in the most important provinces affected.
According to Cuban authorities, the increase in infections is due to the delta variant, highly contagious and circulating in various parts of the country, he added.
PAHO, the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO), expects the number of cases to continue to be high in Cuba in August and warned of other health problems on the island.
“We know that (…) that Cuba faces important economic challenges. And in the health sector, in recent months, there has been a significant reduction in the availability of essential medicines and supplies for covid-19, but also for other diseases throughout the country,” said Ugarte.
“We hope that the country can reduce transmission and the number of cases, but the challenges continue,” he added.
Cuba reported in the last two weeks about 870 cases of covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants, ranking first in Latin America and sixth in the world by number of infections, according to official figures compiled by AFP.
In the week of July 22-28, it reported a record of 57,524 cases, an increase of 30% compared to the previous week, and 488 deaths (18.2%).