Cuban Government Decrees a Curfew in Havana to Contain the Pandemic

It is the first time since the pandemic began that Havana has suffered such restrictive measures. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 28 August 2020 — As of September 1st Havana will suffer the most restrictive measures so far to contain the rise in infections of Covid-19.

As announced this Thursday by Reinaldo García Zapata, governor of Havana, on the Roundtable program, people and vehicles will be prohibited from to move from 7 pm to 5 am; all private transport will be restricted during the day; and visits with citizens of other provinces, even for work reasons, will be forbidden for 15 days.

“Only residents and cargo transportation will be able to enter the capital,” said García Zapata. In addition, state centers that “are not engaged in continuous production or prioritized will remain closed or with the minimum number of workers possible, so remote work will be prioritized,” said the official.

Havanans will only be able to shop in businesses in the municipality where they reside and the hours of all stores will be reduced, to Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm and Sundays from 9 am to 1 pm. “The distribution of products in vulnerable areas or blind spots will be strengthened,” said García Zapata.

At the same time, the movement of street vendors between municipalities will be limited, “with the objective that there is no movement and they only sell in their municipality of residence”, in addition to applying fines with “high amounts for the incorrect use of the facemask, the use of cultural and sports areas and the performance of exercises, games or being on the public roads.”

The fines for a workplace that does not comply with the measures will be 3,000 pesos and for natural persons, 2,000.

The prime minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, justified the restrictions saying that “they intend to increase the rigor, and have a balance between being fair and at the same time strong enough to contain the situation,” and, the Cuban News Agency emphasizes, they will be aimed at “promoting teleworking, controlling mobility, and increasing disciplinary measures against those who violate the provisions.”

The prime minister assured that several contagion events reported in other provinces “involved a Havanan,” in his words, “which does not mean that citizens of the city should be rejected, as it cannot be generalized, and not all of them are undisciplined or violate what is established.”

Two weeks after entering the first phase of the de-escalation in early July, the Cuban capital began to see an alarming rise in coronavirus infections. The death toll now reaches 92, the new confirmed daily numbers continue to rise and the sum of seriously ill and critically ill patients rises to 21. The total number of positives as of August 26 is 3,806.

The situation pushed Havana back to the previous phase and the authorities again imposed restrictive measures, although never as rigorous as those announced on Thursday. The return to classes, which will take place on September 1 in the rest of the provinces, has been delayed.

The official press also reported that from April to date the popular courts in Havana sentenced 60% of those punished for illegal economic activities to prison terms; while 70% of those tried for propagation of epidemics, contempt, disobedience and resistance ended up in prison.

The Cuban government began on Monday the first clinical trials of its own vaccine, which it has called Sovereign and on which it is focusing its hopes and propaganda.


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