Positive Case of COVID-19 Originating in South Africa Is Reported in Cuba

MADRID, Spain. – A 41-year-old man traveling from South Africa tested positive to COVID-19 in Cuba this Tuesday.

He arrived in Cuba on November 25th at the “José Martí” International Airport in Havana. From there he traveled to his place of residence in the Placetas municipality, Villa Clara province.

As Dr. Pedro Didier Medina Llamosa explained to the local Radio Placetas, from the time he arrived in Placetas, he remained at his mother’s house.

“Six direct contacts have been traced and identified, one of them being his mother, at home. The others are the driver of the car that transported him from Santa Clara to Placetas and his wife; his brother-in-law who visits the home frequently; a neighboring woman who helps them with domestic chores; and two drivers who transported him to the agricultural fair last Sunday,” according to Medina Llamosa, municipal director of Public Health.

Although it’s not certain that he is carrying the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, it’s put the Cuban public health system on alert.

First detected in South Africa, the Omicron variant is very contagious.

Following the release issued last November 29th about the existence of this new variant, Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) submitted a release outlining new measures for entry to Cuba for travelers originating from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Malawi and Eswatini. Among the new measures: presenting a full vaccination record, and a negative PCR-RT test administered no more than 72 hours prior to traveling.

According to the MINSAP’s release, at the beginning of this week, of the 962,486 patients diagnosed with COVID-19, 788 remain hospitalized, 765 of those in stable condition. There have been 8,304 fatalities, 55 patients sent to their country of origin, and 953,337 patients have recovered. There are 23 patients in intensive care of which 11 are in critical condition and 12 are in serious condition.

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