Of the confirmed cases, 25 are Cuban nationals, and one is a Spanish citizen.

• Cuba Reports 26 New Cases of COVID-19; National and Foreign Patients Receive the Same Treatment, Free of Charge • Cuba's New Measures Improve Communications Due to COVID-19 • COVID-19 Local Transmission in Cuba Is Limited to the Family • Washington Blocks Shipment of Medical Donation from Chinese Company Ali Baba to Cuba • Andorra Rejects U.S. Pressure to Prevent Cuban Medical Assistance • Cuba's Embassy in U.S. Honors COVID-19 Victims 

Cuba Reports 26 New Cases of COVID-19; National and Foreign Patients Receive the Same Treatment, Free of Charge

Havana, Cuba.- Cuba reported on Wednesday 26 new cases of COVID-19, bringing to 212 the number of people diagnosed with the disease in the Caribbean island.
Of the confirmed cases, 25 are Cuban nationals, and one is a Spanish citizen.

The head of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Francisco Durán, said that 2742 are hospitalized in isolation, of them, 1140 are suspects and 193 positive cases. 188 are reported in stable, 4 in critical, and one in serious condition.

At the community level, the primary health care system is keeping surveillance on some 26 thousand people.
Four positive patients were discharged on Tuesday, for a total of 12 recovered. They will now stay under strict surveillance with daily follow-ups by their family doctor in their houses for two more weeks.

Since the first cases were reported on March 9, six patients have died in Cuba, and one was repatriated.

Dr. Durán stressed that as of Tuesday, a test is underway, aiming to cover 100% of people with epidemiological risks currently hospitalized either because they have been abroad, or had contact with a patient who has tested positive, or suspects to be carrying the new coronavirus.

Likewise, the test will be applied as of now to all patients diagnosed in Cuba with acute respiratory infections, apparently unrelated to COVID-19.

Asked if there is a differentiated treatment for Cubans and foreigners who have tested positive, or are currently hospitalized, Dr. Francisco Duran stressed that all receive the same treatment and that foreigners are doing so free of charge.

Cuba's New Measures Improve Communications Due to COVID-19

Nauta Hogar accounts will be provided further hours to surf the net.Cuba's Telecommunications Company (ETECSA) takes new measures this Wednesday to facilitate communications and citizenship remain home in the face of COVID-19.

The company's actions are also aimed at preserving networks' stability reported Minister of Communications Jorge Luis Perdomo on the meeting of the temporary working group of the Cuban government to fight against the pandemic.

Extending until June 30 the life cycle of permanent Nauta accounts, which expired from March 30 is one of the benefits provided by ETECSA.

Likewise, it is renewed for 60 days the warrant of equipment traded by the company, which was going to expire in April.

Since children and youngsters continue carrying out their school duties at homes, it was decided that downloading contents from the website CubaEduca from the National System of Education is going to be free of charges.

In April, it will be extended to 30 days the deadline of bonuses that go along overseas recharges, and Nauta Hogar accounts will be provided further hours to surf the net.

This modality of access will be boosted with cheaper tariffs to encourage its use, which means remaining home, added the minister.

In addition, from today the use of mobiles and making national long-distance phone calls at dawn will be promoted.

The purpose, besides facilitating communications is to preserve stability and vitality of networks in the face of traffic growth, which has gone up 30 percent in the case of mobile telephony, said Perdomo.

Previously ETECSA eased payments of phone bills, extended the period of validating lines and increased up to 10 percent the discount of payments through the Transfermovil app.

The executive president of the company Mayra Arevich also communicated that from March 27 the access to the EnZona platform will be free of charges.

COVID-19 Local Transmission in Cuba Is Limited to the Family

The two local transmissions of COVID-19 in Cuba are limited to the family and to people very close to the sources of contagion, the Ministry of Public Health explained Wednesday.

¨We cannot speak of a transmission that affects an entire town, where the starting points are cases that came from abroad, Francisco Durán, director of Epidemiology of the Health Ministry, said at a press conference.

To prevent COVID-19 - caused by the SARS Cov-2 coronavirus - from spreading across the nation, it is necessary to comply with established measures, Duran stressed about incidences in Matanzas and Pinar del Río provinces.

In the latter territory, specifically in the community of Camilo Cienfuegos, in the municipality of Consolación del Sur, the Provincial and National Defense Council and the Ministry of Public Health decreed quarantine isolation.

The incidence, reported by Durán two days ago, happened when a married couple traveled to Cuba from Cancun, Mexico, with a total of five confirmed cases, three of them, secondary.

Five days ago, the Cuban Minister of Public Health, José Ángel Portal, reported on the first local transmission of COVID-19 on the island, particularly in Matanzas.

Washington Blocks Shipment of Medical Donation from Chinese Company Ali Baba to Cuba

The blockade prevents  the Alibaba company from making a donation to combat the COVID-19.Beijing.- The Cuban ambassador to China, Carlos Miguel Pereira, denounced Wednesday that the economic, financial and commercial blockade by the United States prevents the Alibaba company from making a donation to the island to combat the COVID-19.

According to the diplomat, the U.S. firm contracted to transport to the Caribbean nation a batch of face masks and diagnostic kits of the deadly disease, at the last minute declined to make the delivery, arguing regulations of the blockade.

"The noble, enormous and commendable effort of the founder of Alibaba and of the Jack Ma Foundation, which has managed to reach more than fifty countries around the world, could not touch Cuban soil, no matter how necessary those resources might be in support of the battle being waged by the small and besieged Antillean island," Pereira said.

On behalf of his government, the Ambassador expressed his deepest gratitude to the Chinese businessman for the donation and the efforts underway to get it to its final destination, Prensa Latina reported.

“Again, the unjust, arbitrary and illegal blockade disrupts everything. Things will always be more difficult for Cuba, that's why every achievement, every small step forward, becomes a huge triumph against the demons,” the Ambassador concluded in an opinion article.

Last March 22, Jack Ma announced on Twitter the shipment of two million masks, 400 thousand diagnostic reagents, and 104 ventilators to 24 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Cuba, to support the confrontation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"One World, One Struggle," he wrote, adding that they would soon ship the cargo to Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Peru, among other countries in the region.

Andorra Rejects U.S. Pressure to Prevent Cuban Medical Assistance

Andorra's FM  Maria UbachAndorra.- The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Andorra, Maria Ubach, defended on Tuesday the sovereignty of that European principality, affected by the COVID-19, against the pressures of the United States to prevent Cuba's medical collaboration.

The arrival of 39 health professionals from the Caribbean island put Andorran diplomacy on alert, following warnings from Donald Trump, who intends to prevent the presence of Cuban health specialists in nations that are in urgent need of such assistance.

"I am aware of the position of the United States, but we are a sovereign country, and we can choose the partners with whom to collaborate," Ubach told the d' Andorra newspaper, quoted by the news portal Cubadebate.

According to the source, the head of Foreign Affairs explained that given the impossibility of receiving health care personnel from Spain and France, due to the critical situation that those countries are experiencing, she opted for the help of the Cuban professionals, who have a long tradition of medical services abroad.

In just one week, Andorra went from knocking on the door of the Latin American country to becoming the second state in Europe -after Italy- to receiving health cooperation from Cuba, which was questioned by the United States, says the newspaper.

The will of that principality is that the 12 Cuban doctors, 26 nurses and one logistician will start working at the Nuestra Señora de Meritxell Hospital towards the end of the week, after a quick training on the Andorran health system and the usual health check-up.

Currently, some 593 Cuban health professionals, organized into 14 brigades, are participating in efforts to stop the pandemic in 12 nations, despite the United States' smear campaign to discourage cooperation from Cuban health professionals.

Cuba's Embassy in U.S. Honors COVID-19 Victims

Washington.- The Cuban flag of this country´s embassy in the United States flies at half-mast in honor of those individuals who have died from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cuban embassy reported Wednesday.

“Our embassy, Cuban flag will fly at half-staff in honor of all people who have died in #Cuba, #United States and worldwide, in this combat against #Covid19 pandemic that unites us all,” according to the official Facebook and Twitter accounts of the embassy.

Our thoughts are with each patient, family, front-line worker and with each health professional, the Cuban embassy posted on social networks.

“Our embassy joins the applause in #Cuba to our health professionals. It is also a tribute to doctors and nurses of the United States and around the world. To all, our deepest gratitude,” the diplomatic representation live-tweeted.

Six patients have died in Cuba due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a disease caused by the aforementioned coronavirus, meanwhile, there are a total number of 212 infected cases.

In the United States, on the other hand, the nation that has the world's highest number of COVID-19 infected people (over 200,000 according to local media), about 4,000 individuals have died so far. (RHC / PL)

In this File Photo, members of the US Congressional Back Caucus meet with lawmakers of Cuban Parliament in Havana.

The American people would benefit today from Cuba's experience in the battle against COVID-19 if the blockade were lifted, say New York activists in a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus.

Airports will exclusively remain opened for exceptional flights, emergencies, and tradePrime Minister Manuel Marrero announced Tuesday that Cuba is suspending the arrival of international commercial and charter flights. Airports will exclusively remain opened for exceptional flights, emergencies, and trade.

2020 May Day Parade,  suspended due to coronavirus epidemicThe First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, Army General Raul Castro Ruz, presided over a meeting of the Political Bureau on Tuesday. The encounter approved the suspension of the May Day parade and the Congress of the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP).