Cuba's first virus-free day in four months

Francisco Duran, head of epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health, and who has updated the country daily on the pandemic, took off his mask during the broadcast on Sunday for only the second time to deliver the good news.

Duran reported just a single domestic case in Havana on Saturday. Only a handful of COVID-19 cases were reported in Cuba over the last week, all in Havana.

Most of the Caribbean island, home to 11.2 million inhabitants, has been free of the disease for more than a month.

“I always tell you to stay safe at home but I know many will go to the beach today,” Duran said, smiling, before reminding his television audience about physical distancing.

The capital’s 2.2 million residents remain at the first phase of three stages of reopening where they can once more move around on public and private transport, go to the beach and other recreation centres and enjoy a seaside drive just in time for the summer break.

The country has been given high marks for its textbook handling of the pandemic, allowing it to keep the number of infections under 2500 with 87 deaths.