Las Tunas faces its worst epidemiological situation

For some time now, the COVID-19 attacks with great force against Las Tunas like evil luck that surrounds everyone in the same waters of the green alligator; although to be fair we get carried away, and what is worse, with prior notice. We live at the "whim" of a virus that every day takes its toll on children, mothers, fathers, brothers, friends ... and the skin hurts inside. Now closer than ever, this reality cries out for everyone to feel the challenge their own and assume it with full prominence.

Las Tunas, Cuba.- How did we get to this point? Where did we go wrong? Can we reverse this scenario? These are some of the questions that come to the mind of not a few people, especially when they hear the alarming number of infections. Without much meditation, they find the answers, the same in the folly of those who go out into the streets without justification, and fail to comply with sanitary measures, or in the cracks of the Health System and other organisms; but they rarely acknowledge their responsibility in the matter.

In any case, right now looking to blame will not clear the way, rather it is urgent to look inside ourselves and do our part; by strengthening those individualities, we will also do so as a society. Those who carry on their shoulders missions that determine the quality of the care processes and define the “luck” of many have to be even more incisive in these analyzes.

“When one perceives that the statistics correspond to or exceed the forecasts, one has to stop and think what we are doing wrong or what we should do differently. The highest percentage of cases belongs to the intra-household transmission and, therefore, we have to act at home to protect the most vulnerable,” the epidemiologist Aldo Cortés González reflects.

“Families must also detect the symptoms and go to the doctor immediately because delays only lead to complications. Regardless of the high contagiousness of the SARS-CoV-2 strains that circulate in the territory today, it must be clear that we can avoid the disease if we comply with biosecurity measures.”

Las Tunas faces its worst epidemiological situationThe first 15 days of July, the doctor says, the figures already exceed all that was reported in the previous months, and more than 150 cases are diagnosed daily. “This cannot continue like this; otherwise, the situation in the province would be practically uncontrollable. It is not to alarm us, what we have to do is to raise awareness to stop the spread,” he warns.

Logic indicates that, with the increase in sickness, the probability of people in serious and critical condition and, of course, deceased is also greater. Unfortunately, the mathematical models are not very encouraging and announce a significant increase for the next few weeks.

In the week of August 11 to 17, the daily average must be around 130 confirmed, which will be 650 in five days. If we assess that each of them generates five suspects; in just two days 1,300 people from Las Tunas will be admitted and 18,200 will be contacts. It means that 20,280 people would be involved that week, the epidemiologist explains.

"If we do the calculations, between August 8 and 14, we would have 46 thousand 644 inhabitants from Las Tunas in any of the three categories (contacts, suspects, or confirmed), a high number."


Las Tunas faces its worst epidemiological situationIn the midst of the complexity of the moment, in which a few ignore the guidelines, health personnel, and other sectors cannot leave gaps or loose ends. It is necessary to fortify the main battle scenes; i.e., isolation centers, hospital facilities, and the Primary Care System.

Although the effort of those in the first line, exposed to contagion, is recognized here; there are many dissatisfactions. Several criteria have reached 26, of people who during their passage through the isolation centers have perceived dirt, poor attention, disorganization of the processes, delays in delivering results, misinformation, and other problems that overshadow the noble purpose for which they were created.

Since March 2020, these facilities began to be equipped here, which were readapted in to provide health services. "The protocols vary according to the experiences in the treatment schemes, and depending on the classification of the patients (suspects, contacts, positives, and travelers)", Cortés González explains.

It is evident that they constitute risk sites, so biosafety measures must be taken to the extreme. “The distance between the beds must be kept at more than one meter and the person must remain in the place, without establishing relationships with the next ones to reduce the risks; besides the permanent use of the facemask.
The bathrooms are for common use, so every time you go you have to protect yourself and disinfect objects and hands,” he argues.

Each month, more than four thousand workers from different spheres are incorporated into these centers; imagine, then, the effort to organize the work of this entire group. However, nothing justifies that someone has been poorly cared for, received food after hours, nor the lack of hygiene.
The highest authorities of this province are aware of all these problems. A recent analysis laid bare the shortcomings and weaknesses that make it difficult to control the pandemic here; and within them, the existing in those facilities, where there is a lack of management by the agencies in charge of guaranteeing support to sustain medical care.

Also, the human resources that must assume the insurance service are not complete, which is incomprehensible considering that there are thousands of workers who do not work and have 60 percent of their salaries at home.

Jaime Chiang Vega, the governor of Las Tunas, recognized the difficulties in managing discharges and beds, motivated by the high occupation level, which, in turn, conditions the long wait for patients in the Emergencies wards of polyclinics. “That is outside the conception and efforts developed by the vast majority of those involved in the COVID-19 confrontation.”

“We have to be more proactive and creative in solving problems. Today we are working on increasing capacities, but it is not just having the facility; beds, mattresses, sheets, food, transportation are also required ... and we must organize all of this and do it well,” he said.


It is not enough to identify the problems, it is necessary to act, and control the proper functioning of the tasks, the governor insisted. And the work is still insufficient in the popular councils, health areas, and institutions that should support the processes.

“We call on the people of Las Tunas to join the community workgroups for the care of the vulnerable. We have not always been effective and there are cases of neglect and these people have been forced to go out and find their products and services. In the main municipality, it has been decided to reactivate the health brigades, so that they help these cases and distribute the controlled drugs,” he explained.

The contacts of positives, which are admitted at homes, according to the most recent protocols, must receive the corresponding follow-up, besides the support of the mass organizations, and although work is being done, there are still cracks that cloud the purposes. That, without add the indiscipline of those who violate isolation, putting the health of others at risk.

Parties, constant mobility, informal meetings in the street or houses, points of sale in homes, queues, and resellers of products are problems that persist in the neighborhoods; and if they are not stopped, the transmission will continue to grow. "What we ask the population is discipline, distancing, and compliance with health measures to win the battle," Chiang Vega said.

After more than 16 months of facing the pandemic, the physical and mental exhaustion is undeniable; but we can't quit just when the situation demands our best efforts. Whoever has to confront the COVID-19 must remain standing; who controls and guides cannot get tired; whoever is responsible for the insurance will have to comply with the requests ... all with the quality and love that this mission demands. So yes, we will be stronger and we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.