Cuba sets new record of daily Covid cases as total infections near 1,241

HAVANA, April 24 (IANS) Cuba reported a new record number of Covid-19 infections on Friday, with 1,241 in one day bringing the total to 99,208,

the Ministry of Public Health said, adding that there were 10 more deaths, for a total of 569.

The previous record of 1,207 infections was registered on Thursday, the Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

Of the new cases, 1,205 were from community transmission, according to the ministry’s director of hygiene and epidemiology Francisco Duran, who said on TV that “self-protection and strict fulfilment of Covid-19 protocols “would be fundamental to tackle the sanitary emergency.”

Havana, the epicentre of the pandemic on the island, registered more than half of the new cases with 727 in the past 24 hours.

The expert also said that April 2021 has become the deadliest month since the pandemic began, with 144 deaths and 22,932 Covid-19 cases.

Cuba has been facing a new wave of Covid-19 infections since January, as authorities have moved to regulate the closure of many public spaces, restrict mobility, and require testing and quarantining for arriving travellers.

In the capital, the ministry is preparing for a mass vaccination campaign in May with two Cuban vaccine candidates, Soberana-02 and Abdala.

Meanwhile, the third and final phase of clinical trials for Soberana-02 continues in Havana alongside an intervention study among health workers, while Phase II clinical trials for another vaccine candidate Soberana Plus continue.

In addition, Phase III clinical trials and an intervention trial for Abdala are being carried out in the eastern part of the country, while two other candidates, Soberana-01 and Mambisa, are at different stages of research.