Isolation center in Las Tunas University

Since the appearance of the first positives to COVID-19, the people of Las Tunas have not had a truce. On each battlefront, there has been the face of a generation as courageous as the preceding ones; countless examples of altruism and absolute dedication to a collective cause, whose compensation is the satisfaction of feeling useful.

Las Tunas, Cuba.- Recently, the self-employed Yohanner Rodríguez Ruiz changed his usual glassware job for cleaning work in the isolation center of the University of Medical Sciences, where they assist low-risk positive patients. This 29-year-old man has been in the red zone, aware of the dangers posed by SARS-CoV-2. His four-month-old baby and his wife have been the greatest inspiration.

Esdeinis Fernández Aballe was also in the first line; she undertook cleaning tasks in the rooms and bathrooms with the conviction of being useful, necessary. She is 24 years old,  a laboratory worker at the Majibacoa sugar mill, and mother of the little Anthony. She took on this challenging mission and she can't help falling proud of her decision.

Like Yohanner and Esdeinis, many volunteers have taken on challenges in the 24 isolation centers of the province, during the last year. It is not the task of one person, several, or a specific organism; but an entire society, immersed in this struggle for life. In this scenario, barriers disappear, and each individual is an essential part of a common effort.

More than 640 health professionals and workers - in periods of seven and 10 days - work in these centers, adding up to a figure of more than two thousand in one month. They are joined by more than a thousand employees from other sectors who perform different essential functions. In such a way; the number of people linked to these units, created under the sign of contingency, exceeds four thousand each month. Each one of them represents the greatness of a country and the history of a brave one.

“It is a very big effort, by many people, and not only from Public Health. There is Sport, Culture, Transportation, Accommodation, Communal Services, Education, the Electricity Company… Mathematicians also make a great contribution, their forecasts allow to better manage the situation and alert the people of Las Tunas about the possible behavior of the pandemic,” affirms Aldo Cortés González, deputy director of the Provincial Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology.

At this point, SARS-CoV-2 continues to pressing us, especially now that the province is going through a complicated epidemiological scenario; and, in the last 15 days, it has reported 291 autochthonous cases for an incidence rate of 54.6 per 100,000 inhabitants.

The Temporary Provincial Group for the prevention and control of the COVID-19 has already given indications that the capacities in isolation centers should be increased. It also directed that teams be organized for the closures or modified quarantines of events and outbreaks, which is a guarantee of assistance to people in isolation, and the necessary logistics in these cases.

The act of those who, still in fear, decide to cross the red zone can be described as altruistic, humanistic, resilient... and so many ways! To them, all those who have performed one or another function, those who have been, and those who are… even those who will come, those who overcome fear and raise love as a flag: thank you!