Cuba reports record daily number of coronavirus cases


Cuba reports record daily number of coronavirus cases

Monday, August 10, 2020

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HAVANA,Cuba(AFP)— Faced with a second wave of coronavirus cases, Cuba announced today a record daily number of new infections.

The 93 new cases beat the previous record from May 1 of 74, leading authorities to reimplement lockdown measures that had been gradually relaxed.

The health ministry said most of the cases are in the capital Havana and the neighbouring province of Artemisa.

"Total closure of Havana's beaches; closure of bars and swimming pools. Closure of recreation parks and areas of concentration for self-employed (informal) workers. Restaurants and cafes will only offer takeaway," said the official newspaper Granma.

Cuba has recorded more than 3,000 cases and 88 deaths amongst its population of 11.2 million, national head of epidemiology Francisco Duran said.

Cases have also been increased by Cubans arriving home on repatriation flights, including one recently from Venezuela.

With low death (2.9 per cent) and infection (3.1 per 100,000 inhabitants) rates, Cuba has been far less affected than many other countries in Latin America.

However, authorities are concerned because the country has begun gradual reopening following lockdown measures and had reported zero new daily cases on July 20.

Authorities in Havana, a city of 2.2 million, have suspended public transport and ordered social distancing.

Gradual reopening continues in most of the country where there are no new cases.

"Health comes first. Despite the economic affects generated by this return (to lockdown measures) we have not delayed its application," said Duran.

The country's borders remain closed to commercial flights, dealing a tough blow for to the struggling economy, which relies heavily on foreign tourism.

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