IFCO's CubaBuzz : Issue 188 (Coronavirus Edition)
Cuba applies new measures to fight Covid-19
Prensa Latina, Havana, March 24, 2020- Still in a pre-epidemic phase, the Cuban government has applied new measures to cut off the spread of the new coronavirus, which total 40 cases, all imported, on the island, although some have been cured and will be discharged shortly.

President Miguel Díaz-Canel, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero and other cabinet members reported on television and radio hook-up the new decisions that as a follow-up of others announced last week, including border regulations that takes effect at midnight.

Due to border restriction, only nationals will be allowed to enter the country under a strict regime of quarantine, although commercial and other cooperation activities will continue at border terminals.

In the special television and radio appearance, the Minister of Health, Dr. Jose Angel Portal announced that several of the 40 Covid-19 cases have been cured and will be discharged from hospital shortly.

Cuba uses 'WONDER DRUG' to fight Coronavirus around world despite U.S. Sanctions
Newsweek, March 24, 2020- Cuba has mobilized its medical corps around the world to distribute a new "wonder drug" that officials there say is capable of treating the new coronavirus despite the United States' strict sanctions that continue to pressure the communist-run island.

The drug, called Interferon Alpha-2B Recombinant (IFNrec), is jointly developed by scientists from Cuba and China, where the coronavirus COVID-19 disease outbreak first emerged late last year. Already active in China since January, the Cuban Medical Brigades began deploying to dozens of nations, providing personnel and products such as its new anti-viral drug to battle the disease that has exceeded 400,000 confirmed cases across the globe. As of Tuesday, over 100,000 people have recovered from the infection and more than 18,000 have died.

Cuba’s Coronavirus Response Is Putting Other Countries to Shame
Jacobin, March 23, 2020- Last week, the MS Braemar, a transatlantic cruise ship carrying 682 passengers from the United Kingdom, found itself momentarily stranded. Five of the cruise’s passengers had tested positive for the coronavirus. Several dozen more passengers and crew members were in isolation after exhibiting flu-like symptoms. The ship had been rebuffed from several ports of entry throughout the Caribbean. According to sources in the British government who spoke to  CNN , the UK then reached out to both the United States and Cuba “to find a suitable port for the Braemar.”

Which country took them in? If you’ve paid attention to the Trump administration’s xenophobic rhetoric about “the Chinese virus” and its obsession with keeping foreign nationals out of the country, and you know anything about Cuba’s tradition of sending doctors to help with humanitarian crises all around the world, you should be able to guess the answer.

Cuban doctors arrive in Italy to combat coronavirus pandemic
OnCuba, March 23, 2020- The Cuban medical brigade that traveled to Italy from Havana on Saturday to combat the  COVID-19 outbreak  in the Italian region of Lombardy arrived this Sunday in the European country, the current epicenter of the pandemic.

The group of 52 specialists, made up of 36 doctors, 15 nurses and a logistics specialist, was received by the Cuban ambassador to Italy, José Carlos Rodríguez, who greeted them when they got off the plane with a slight contact with the elbow, as he showed in a post on his Twitter account.

The Cubans, belonging to the Henry Reeve International Contingent–specialized in disaster situations and epidemics–landed at Malpensa airport, Milan. Their trip responds to the request for help from that northern Italian region, the one most hit by the pandemic in that nation.

Jamaica's Prime Minister appreciates Cuba's support against Covid-19
Prensa Latina, Kingston,, March 23, 2020- Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness representing his people, thanked yesterday the arrival in his country of a Cuban medical brigade to aid combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Twitter, he stressed that yesterday the Minister of Health and Welfare Chris Tufton welcomed the Cuban medical team, made up of 90 specialized nurses, 46 doctors and four therapists.

'Jamaica appreciates Cuba's support as we fight this Covid-19 pandemic,' said the prime minister on Twitter.

Last Saturday, 140 members of the International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics 'Henry Reeve' left Cuba and arrived in this nation to contribute to the fight against the disease.

Irish Government considers Cuban drugs to help curb spread of deadly coronavirus

DublinLive, March 21, 2020- Leo Varadkar’s Government is considering bringing in Cuban drugs that could help limit the spread of the coronavirus in the human body.

Interferon alpha-2b has had some success in battling the complications arising from Covid-19.

It has been given to both China and Italy by Cuba to help in their war against the pandemic, with some reports of its success.

The country is recognized as having one of the best health services in the world and doctors there have developed drugs that are showing some initial success in tackling coronavirus.

Ireland’s Disabilities Minister brought the suggestion to source the drugs from Cuba to a Cabinet meeting after he was told about their initial promise by sources in the health service there.

China prepares donation to confront COVID-19 in Cuba
OnCuba, March 21, 2020-
 The government of  China  is preparing a donation for Cuba to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of the international assistance provided by the Asian country due to the accumulated experience in fighting the disease.

The Cuban ambassador to Beijing, Carlos Miguel Pereira, assured on social networks that the contribution of the Asian nation “is ready and will arrive very soon” to Cuba,  according to  Prensa Latina (PL) news agency, which, however, does not specify what the donation consist of.

The diplomat appreciated the gesture, as well as “the growing number of Chinese companies, with historical ties to the island, that have expressed their intention to send donations” and assured that they “will undoubtedly strengthen our national capacities in to confront COVID -19.”

Coronavirus: We’ll survive, but that’s not enough
OnCuba by Dr. C Juan Triana, March 23, 2020- Humanity will emerge from this pandemic. Previously, pandemics also occurred and humanity survived. It is true that in all of the above the world was less connected and that even poor mobility created physical barriers that delayed the spread of any contagion. Now that great mobility that we have all identified as one of the great strengths of the global economy, becomes a perfect ally of a virus that already has a high capacity for propagation. But human beings will succeed because throughout their short life on this Earth they have learned to adapt.

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IFCO's Cuba Buzz presents a variety of articles from a
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