As a new virus variant has been detected in many countries, Cuban resident Raymond Perez has fortified himself with more robust COVID-19 preventive measures.
“Hygiene is essential to reduce the risk of being infected by the virus,” he said after strengthening handwashing behavior at his workplace. “I am in daily contact with many people worldwide.”
Although cases of a new COVID-19 variant have not yet been announced on the island, people must remain vigilant, said another concerned resident, Dunia Rodriguez.
“The new variant of COVID-19 has been detected in some neighboring countries like the United States,” Rodriguez said. “So we must be cautious.”
The Caribbean nation has registered some 1.1 million cases and more than 8,000 COVID-19-related deaths since the onset of the sanitary emergency on the island in 2020, according to the Cuban Ministry of Public Health.
On Wednesday, the health ministry confirmed one new COVID-19 case and no related deaths.
Eduardo Martinez, president of Cuba’s biotech conglomerate BioCubaFarma, said the Cuban COVID-19 vaccines can still protect people against new virus variants.
“We keep working and maintain surveillance in case it would be necessary to update the vaccines,” he said during a governmental meeting on Tuesday.
Until Monday, about 10 million Cubans have received at least one dose of Cuban native vaccines, according to the ministry.
Currently, mask-wearing in public areas is not compulsory in Cuba except in health settings. COVID-19 social distancing guidelines are not in place either.
Havana resident Aylen Perez said that although the COVID-19 pandemic in Cuba remains under control, prevention remains necessary.
“We should use hand sanitizer as much as possible, clean our hands frequently and wear facemasks in crowded settings,” she said.
“The world is a better place without COVID-19,” Perez added.