Is there Coronavirus in Cuba? Should you cancel travel?
HAVANA, CUBA – Mar 9, 2020 – An atmosphere of calmness and measured concern is felt on the island as doctors, and the population follow world reports about the spread of Coronavirus. When Coronavirus was first identified in China in late 2019, the Cuban public health system took immediate action to enact a nationwide prevention plan.
Cuba welcomes visitors and is confident its extensive preparedness and prevention procedures will preempt the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
When the world was gripped by fear of the SARS outbreak in 2003, not a single case of the disease emerged in Cuba. The island government’s disease control and emergency readiness and prevention systems serve as a global health model.
As of today, there are no cases of Coronavirus in Cuba. Precautions against Coronavirus in Cuba are in place at all levels. There are no health warnings or travel alerts concerning visits to Cuba, other than to exercise increased caution. On arrival at Havana’s José Martí International airport, visitors will notice enhanced screening practices.
Cuba’s role in global medical and scientific cooperation
Cuba developed and produces Recombinant Interferon Alpha 2B (IFNrec), which is being used by Chinese doctors to successfully treat and cure patients infected with the Coronavirus.
Cuban scientists and medical professionals are working in China, and other hard-hit nations, to assist patients, and to learn about the disease, its treatment, transmission, and prevention. Cuban medical professionals are in constant communication and coordinate actions with world disease prevention and control organizations.
Cuba has an extensive inventory of testing kits, and several effective treatment regimes available in the event Coronavirus is detected in the population or international guests.
What happens if a visitor tests positive for COVID-19?
In Cuba, there is a community clinic on nearly every block. All hotels are staffed with a full-time doctor or nurse. All Cuban medical professionals are expertly trained to detect symptoms of COVID-19 and provide testing.
If a visitor were to test positive for COVID-19 while in Cuba, they would be put in protective care in a Cuban hospital for foreign guests. They would remain in hospital for 14 days, or until medical evacuation is arranged. The Cuban government would provide medical care and support for the visitor until they return home. The cost of the medical care would be covered in part by Cuban Emergency Insurance and by travel medical insurance policies purchased in your home country in advance of travel.
Cuba agrees with and respects world prevention protocols
Cuban health authorities adhere to the same advice provided by the World Health Organization to reduce transmission of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Maintain social distancing.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
- Practice respiratory hygiene.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
- Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider.
For daily updates and the latest news, visit Cuba Explorer’s site here.