Cuban Province of Cienfuegos Closes to Contain Covid: Beaches, Recreational Centers, Transport

The residents of Cienfuegos will have to think hard about what to do in their free time since beaches, rivers and recreational centers are closed. (5 de Septiembre)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 2 July 2021 — The diffuse new measures announced by the authorities last Tuesday, to contain the contagion of Covid-19, begin to take shape. The Minister of Health, Ángel Portal Miranda, warned that each territory would make its own decisions based on its needs and situation, although the working group at the national level would be the reference.

In Cienfuegos, working hours will end at 2 pm, although residents will have to think hard about what to do in their free time since the beaches, rivers and recreational centers are completely closed. These measures come into force this Friday and are part of a package of 16 regulations enunciated by the minister in his speech to reality.

The only workers who will continue to carry out their tasks will be those linked to production and services. Transportation, both public and private, between rural and urban areas is suspended, and the activities of the cultural sector are limited “to an extreme degree” in the month of July.

Another measure of great impact is the closure of establishments: markets, hard currency stores, ration stores, service stations and liquefied gas points will open only until 3 pm, as will state-run and private restaurants, banks and any government procedures or “unnecessary” meetings.

It is also expected that entry and exit controls in the province established at seven access points will be strengthened.

In Matanzas, where national tourism for the island’s main spa has already been suspended, the regulatory package establishes up to 56 points . These include a curfew between eight at night and five in the morning and a prohibition against leaving the territory, except in the case of emergencies, deaths or leaving the country.

The National Revolutionary Police (PNR) will reinforce surveillance at this time and any driver who violates the restriction without authorization or “objective justification” will be taken to a police station and his badge and documentation will be withdrawn, “independent of the fine and administrative measure.”

Regarding transport, in addition to limiting the licensing procedures, the number of standing passengers on the buses is restricted to 15 people and mobility will be controlled to the maximum. Both this restriction and the curfew exempt not only vehicles that fulfill an essential service, but also those that carry the registration of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, the Ministry of the Interior, and diplomatic plates, or serve for the transfer of foreigners.

To rent a car, individuals must request a special permit.

In addition, the Provincial Labor Directorate requested that Health personnel admit those who test positive for the virus within 24 hours and that they treat “one hundred percent of the contacts” at home. “In the case of not being able to admit all the suspected and confirmed cases to centers, individuals will be followed by doctors in the patients’ homes,” says the official press, which also reports an increase in beds in health centers.

Another instruction is to comply with the schedule, which is not detailed, “of the health intervention in risk groups and territories with the candidate vaccine Abdala.”

They also include in the new medical protocol the transfer of patients who have post-covid complications but test negative for the virus “to the non-covid hospital network.”

Other measures are already known, such as the fight against coleros and hoarders and the promotion of fines for those who violate the rules and, in addition, promises that it remains to be seen that the provincial government can fulfill, such as “increasing” home services in the Family Attention System “at no cost to the beneficiary,” “complete” personnel “that today is lacking to assist all vulnerable beneficiaries,” “increase the production of the processing centers” and “achieve that the units that function as restaurants and meal sites prepare meals every day.”


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