Cuba Acknowledges High Transmission of Omicron Variant and Decrees New Restrictions for Travelers

The Ministry of Public Health recognizes that “the trend is an increase in infections,” specifically a 34.8% increase in Cuba in the last week. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 30 December 2021 — The Cuban health authorities have decided to establish new restrictions due to the increase in infections in recent days. Some 241 new cases of covid-19 were reported yesterday, almost 100 more than the previous day, and this Thursday the trend continues, with the record 328 cases.

In addition, after several days without deaths related to the coronavirus, there is a reported victim, although he had testicular cancer with brain metastasis, a serious comorbidity.

The Ministry of Public Health recognizes in a statement published this Thursday that “the trend is an increase in infections,” specifically a 34.8% increase in Cuba in the last week, and notes “the high power of dissemination” of the omicron variant , “which has the capacity to double the number of cases in just two or three days,” and which has expanded to 110 countries.

On the island, 72 people who are reported to be infected with this strain have been identified, spread over 12 provinces. “Most are imported cases, although patients who have had contact with these people have already been diagnosed,” says the Health Ministry’s text.

For this reason, from January 5 there will be new regulations, which mainly affect international travelers.

Now, they will have to present a complete vaccination scheme upon entry to Cuba, in addition to a negative PCR within a maximum of 72 hours.

For travelers “from high-risk countries,” the statement said, “random” surveillance will be increased.

The most restrictive measures, despite the fact that in the United States and Europe the infections are growing exponentially, will affect those who come from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Malawi and Eswatini, who will be subjected to a PCR upon arrival to the Island and will have to do a mandatory eight-day quarantine in a hotel “destined for that purpose.” Travelers will have to pay for it out of pocket along with transportation. On the seventh day, a new test will be performed, which, if negative, will allow them to be discharged from quarantine.

The same is established for Cubans residing on the island who do not have a vaccination scheme, the regulations specify.

If a traveler who arrives on the island tests positive for covid-19, he will be admitted to a health center, and all his direct contacts, isolated in special centers or “at home, as long as the necessary conditions exist and compliance is guaranteed.”

As for the rest of the population, “mass activities that generate crowds of people” will be prohibited, without specifying whether this includes the daily and very long lines to buy food.


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