Overwhelming COVID-19 rebound

If the numbers of positive cases to COVID-19 at the end of June were shocking in this province (1,270), the more than 5,400 infected in July have been frightening; to the point of registering in the last 15 days a daily average of more than 200 confirmed, and a peak of 499 on July 28.

Las Tunas, Cuba.- This overwhelming outbreak, which exceeds the total of diagnosed during the entire pandemics, has caused Las Tunas to already add more than eight thousand positives since March 2020; 95 percent of them are autochthonous, as the result of the high transmission in the locality. Even though all the municipalities report cases, the provincial capital maintains the worst epidemiological panorama.

Dr. Gregory Pérez Héctor, deputy director of Health, said that reality has been in correspondence with the forecasts. "This behavior shows the ineffectiveness of the measures adopted to control SARS-CoV-2," he said.
Mathematical models do not announce an improvement in August; on the contrary, only in the week from the 22nd to 28th some 3,892 patients are predicted. "If today the situation is complex, with around 1,200 and 1,300 weekly cases, let's imagine if that number exceeds three thousand," the doctor reflected.

The lack of resources, medicines, and other supplies make it extremely difficult to face the new coronavirus. However, every effort is made to guarantee, above all, the treatment of serious and critically ill patients, who in recent days have registered an increase. In the next few hours, he said, the entry of pulmonary ventilators is expected.

He also reported that a laboratory entered into function this week, located in the Provincial Center of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology; which allows the analysis of nasopharyngeal tests for the detection of COVID-19, based on the well-known Cuban SUMA technology (Ultra Micro Analytical System). This diagnostic tool is an alternative to real-time PCR tests, and its advantages include its speed in identifying the disease and its low commercial cost.

The manager explained that, here, the application of the new protocol for the clinical management of confirmed, suspects and contacts continues, which has its main stage in Primary Health Care. “It is a challenge, he affirmed, to achieve the organization of the assistance processes, mainly about the home admission for the suspects and low-risk confirmed patients, and the massive immunization with Abdala that began on July 29.”

However, isolation centers for those with moderate or severe symptoms continue to be enabled; and, for the latter, an Intensive Surveillance Unit was set up in the building of the old Health Polytechnic Institute, which has qualified personnel and equipment, (pulse oximetry, monitors, cylinders for oxygen therapy).

Confronting the virus is a mission of the entire society, especially now, when many families will have a suspect or a positive for COVID-19 at home. Therefore, extreme care must be taken within the houses, wearing the facemask permanently, and applying all biosecurity measures to protect, especially, the most vulnerable.

“In recent days, there has been an increase in infected bedridden patients, which corroborates the failure of families to comply with the established provisions. Community actors can also contribute to the surveillance of those who are on home admission.

"The health sector and other organizations can make all the effort, but if people do not take care of themselves, it will be practically impossible to stop the increase in infections," he concluded.