The Covid Outbreak in Ciego de Avila General Hospital is Due to Negligence

Doctor Antonio Luaces Iraola General Hospital of Ciego de Ávila. (Radio Reloj)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Olea Gallardo, Havana, 18 September 2020 — With 19 positive cases of Covid-19 reported this Friday, Ciego de Ávila continues to be the second province in number of infections, behind Havana, and its situation is not improving. The most worrying data is that it accounts for 9 of the 19 critically ill or seriously ill patients in the entire country, even more than the 6 in the capital province, according to official data published by the Ministry of Health.

One of the most active local sources of contagion is the one that began at the Doctor Antonio Luaces Iraola General Hospital, the main one in the province, from which a hundred coronavirus patients were transferred to neighboring Camagüey — where there is still no contagion — last week.

When the news of the outbreak became known, through the official press, the hospital authorities held the workers responsible for the situation and their “non-compliance with the protocols.” Later, the local media gave space to praising the work carried out by the hospital, and described it as “almost a war maneuver to carry out routine procedures such as childbirth or tracheal intubation.” continue reading

However, a doctor and a nurse, who offered their testimony to 14ymedio on condition of anonymity, insist that the cause is negligence. “The corresponding tests were not being carried out on the patients who appeared with respiratory problems, and instead they were being treated as if it were asthma, allergies or bronchitis,” details the doctor.

“For years we have had a bus that transfers patients who must undergo hemodialysis,” adds the nurse. “As the transportation issue has become more complicated with the pandemic, other patients are also collected, including asthmatics and people who need routine treatments.”

“The problem was that in the same bus, patients who needed dialysis coincided for several days with others who obviously had Covid-19,” said the nurse. “The result is that at one point we had more than half of the patients in the nephrology ward also infected with the coronavirus.”

“When we found out, these nephrological patients had already spent time with their families, entered other areas of the hospital and had direct contact with doctors and nurses who had no protection,” she denounces. “A disaster and irresponsibility.”

Within the official data, in fact, it can be observed that several of Ciego de Ávila’s critically ill or seriously ill patients also suffer from kidney failure. This is the case for an 82-year-old citizen of the capital municipality, as well as another age 66 with kidney failure, a third age 65 with hydronephrosis, and a fourth age 68 with chronic kidney disease.

The province fell back to phase 1 on September 9, when it registered a total of 17 local contagion events. At that time, Miguel Díaz-Canel again blamed the outbreak on the “indiscipline” of the citizens.

Meanwhile, the keys, a popular tourist destination in the same province, are preparing to receive another flight from Canada, and the ruling party insists that “rigorous epidemiological control measures” are being carried out in Jardines del Rey to protect tourists and employees.

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23 Indian Workers for State Construction Company Almest Infected With Covid-19

Hotel construction in progress in Miramar where construction workers from India tested positive for COVID-19 work. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Olea Gallardo, Havana, 16 September 2020 — A total of 23 construction workers who are Indian citizens who are in Havana are part of the new group of people infected with Covid-19, according to the latest official figures, as reported this Wednesday by the Ministry of Health.

All of them are male, aged between 26 and 59, and reside in the municipality of Regla. The authorities detail that they are keeping 114 known contacts under surveillance.

These are the Indian workers who arrived in Cuba in 2016 hired by the Bouygues construction company for the works of the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski, in the Manzana de Gómez building, in Havana.

At the time, it was speculated that the French company had resorted to the exception introduced by the Government in the Foreign Investment Law that authorizes “special regulations” in relation to foreign workers in “special circumstances.”

Three months later, these foreigners were working for the state-owned Inmobiliaria Almest and the official press praised their performance — “they perform three or four times more work than Cubans,” they said.

Although the official media did not specify the salaries of the Indian workers, business sources informed press agencies that it ranges between 1,200 and 1,600 euros per month, more than 20 times the salary that a Cuban builder earns.

The Indians continue to work in the capital, according to this newspaper, in the gigantic hotel works of 3rd and 70th, carried out by Almest in Miramar, Playa municipality, and which consist of three luxury hotels, with more than 500 rooms , divided by a two-story shopping arcade.

As declared to the official press by Daysi Malvares Moret, Director of Development of Almest, the property will be the tallest hotel in the capital, with approximately 154 meters, exceeding the Habana Libre (27 floors and 70 meters), which continues to be, as at was at its inauguration, the tallest hotel in the capital.

This outbreak of the coronavirus is the second most important associated with the construction of hotels, after the one that occurred weeks ago at a construction site in western Havana.

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.