Santiago de Cuba is Almost Paralyzed in an Attempt to Stop Covid-19 Contagion

The territory was already experiencing other restrictions announced in July, when community transmission was decreed. (El Chago-Santiago de Cuba / Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 12 August 2021 – The authorities of Santiago de Cuba imposed massive vacations in all  of the province’s state and private workplaces, or “work interruption for those who do not have accumulated time.” The decision is part of a group of measures that will last 15 days and seeks to “reduce the mobility of people and cut the increase in sick and deceased” due to Covid-19, the official press reported .

Regarding the closure and security of the workplaces, the provincial government held the management of each entity responsible and the Public Health sector, communal and obituary services, food production, press media and others are exempted from this measure. “Essential activities,” Gov. Beatriz Johnson said.

The official also announced a reduction in opening hours, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., in banks, electricity and telecommunications companies, currency stores and gastronomic centers, while in the network of ration stores and butchers where regulated products are sold, customers will be served from 7 to 9 am and from that time until 11 am it will only be possible to buy through couriers.

State transportation remains targeted to move personnel from prioritized sectors and private ones will be able to circulate from 5 am to 1 pm. After that time pedestrian and vehicular traffic” is strictly forbidden after that time in the nine municipalities. The province will be closed and only people who carry an authorization from the People’s Power of their municipality may travel to another territory.

The governor said that in order to enact the new measures, the tense situation of “neighboring provinces” was taken into account and that despite actions aimed at avoiding exchanges with those territories, it has not been possible to limit it.

He also said that there is “a slight decrease in positive patients” for Covid in recent days in the territory, but given the announcement of a peak of infections and deaths in the coming weeks in the country, it was decided to “stop the mobility of Santiagueros.

Santiago de Cuba was already experiencing other restrictions announced in July, when community transmission was confirmed. The restrictions included the reduction of capacity in foreign currency stores that have only served to cause more lines and more ’coleros. The provincial government that only 50 people per day will be served in these establishments, who obtain their turn after presenting their identity card.

In the province of Guantánamo, on the border with Santiago de Cuba, a collapse of funeral services was reported due to the increase in deaths. “On August 4 we worked with 67 [deceased], on the 3rd with 61 and on the first day of August with 80.” Of this last number 69 were in the capital, according to Ihosvany Fernández, director of Community Services, speaking to local television. The official also admitted that he had to use two Etecsa (phone company) vans and two commercial trucks to transport the corpses.

In Holguín, a territory that also has a border with Santiago, several residents have denounced that, for example, the Vladimir Ilich Lenin Hospital has had to treat patients outside the hospital itself, because it has been overflowing with patients.

Between last Monday and this Thursday, 30 patients have died from Covid-19 in Santiago de Cuba and 2,018 people have been infected, according to statistics from the Ministry of Public Health. The country has 491,904 confirmed cases to date, and 3,757 deaths from the disease.


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