HAVANA (AP) – The authorities in Havana extended a package of restrictive measures that include a night curfew because it has not been possible to control an outbreak of coronavirus that threatens to spread to the rest of Cuba, it was officially reported.
The limitations were approved on September 1 and were to be lifted on September 15, but city governor Reinaldo García Zapata indicated that the measure will last until September 30. He pointed out that although the trend in infections is slightly downward, it is not enough to lift the restrictions.
« We have not been able to contain the spread, » said the official in a television program on Friday night, in which he took stock and pointed out that « the risk is evident » due to the dispersion of the cases throughout the 15 municipalities of the capital. .
The director of Epidemiology of Cuba, Francisco Durán, reported on Saturday the death of two people from COVID-19 and 60 new infections for an accumulated of 4,653 people. Of the total, there are 108 deaths since the pandemic was detected on the island in March.
In July, Cuba had begun an improvement with a situation of relative control of the disease – even a day of zero cases – but a relaxation of social isolation unleashed an escalation of cases, especially in Havana and its neighboring provinces in the west of the island.
Many regions in the eastern part of the Caribbean nation have not reported infections for many months, which is why it became necessary to « close » Havana.
While classes began in the COVID-19-free towns, public transport circulates with some normality and shops provide services, nothing of this happens in the capital.
The curfew occurs every day between 7pm and 5am, so in the largest city on the island – home to two million people – the streets are empty.
Cuba maintains its borders limited, there is mandatory quarantine for any traveler and mandatory isolation in institutions for suspects. Commercial flights are canceled.
The authorities also approved strong sanctions for those who do not comply with the measures such as circulating or walking during curfew or walking without masks.
Police indicated that more than 5,000 warnings and fines had been imposed, which can reach the equivalent of 150 dollars, a true fortune for Cubans whose salary can reach 80 dollars.