Italian Tourist in Cuba Dies of Coronavirus and 10 Are Infected

The deceased had prior respiratory problems. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 18 March 2020 — Health authorities confirmed the death of the first patient admitted to the hospital with coronavirus in Cuba. The deceased is a 61-year-old Italian who was in serious condition last night. In addition, three other people have tested positive for coronavirus on the Island making 10 already affected.

The Minister of Public Health, José Angel Portal Miranda, warned last night on the Roundtable program on TV, where the situation of the coronavirus in the country was discussed, that the Italian was in intensive care and his state was critical. The tourist was asthmatic, one of the groups most vulnerable groups to Covid-19.

“Despite the efforts made by the intensive care team that was directly treating him, as well as the group of experts from the Ministry of Public Health who followed him continuously, complications developed due to his illness causing his death. We deeply regret what happened and we convey to his family and friends our deepest condolences,” says the official note.

The death is joined by the update of the number of infected, which has increased by three cases this morning, now a total of 10. They are two Cubans and one American.

The youngest, age 25 and a resident of Santa Clara, had been in Spain until March 8. After presenting the first symptoms on the 14th, he went to his local clinic and was redirected to the Manuel Piti Fajardo Hospital, where he was admitted. Five of his contacts have been quarantined, all asymptomatic at the moment.

Another case of a Cuban in Santa Clara is that of a 67-year-old woman who arrived on March 11 from New Jersey and presented symptoms a day later. After going through her family doctor, she was referred to the hospital and five of her contacts were isolated.

The third case diagnosed today is that of a 77-year-old American citizen, who arrived on March 8 from California. His symptoms began on the 14th and were identified by the carrier and the guide of the tourist group with which he was in Trinidad, Sancti Spíritus province. In his case, he was transferred to the city’s international clinic and is now admitted to the Villa Clara Isolation Center. There are ten isolated and asymptomatic people from his environment.

These new cases are added to the two reported yesterday, a resident of Camagüey and a cruise ship worker; and another from Guanabacoa, whose daughter recently returned from Milan, one of the most affected cities in Italy.

The Minister of Health reported last night on the total numbers of those admitted for surveillance, at that time 389, 147 of them foreigners and 242 Cubans. In addition, also being monitored, but at home, are 24,853 people on the Island.


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