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Cuba adds the third day with a record of cases and begins to require PCR from travelers

Havana, Jan 10 (EFE) .- Cuba set a record for covid-19 infections for the third consecutive day, with 388, and requires a negative PCR test from all travelers arriving in the country this Sunday, one of the new measures applied to stop this third wave of infections. The rise in the last 24 hours – the highest since the start of the pandemic – follows the highs reached on Friday (365) and Saturday (344). To date, the country accumulates 14,576 positive diagnoses for the new coronavirus. The updated part of the Ministry of Public Health (Minsap) reports this Sunday of three people who died the day before, bringing the number of deaths registered since last March to 151. The country did not report three deaths in a single day since the beginning of September, and has maintained a fatality rate below the regional average. Among the new positives there are 35 imported cases, a figure that reaffirms the downward trend after the reduction of flights from six American countries that came into force on January 1, including the United States, Mexico and Panama. RESTRICTIONS RETURN Cuban authorities attribute the current rebound, the worst since the beginning of the pandemic, to indiscipline and the failure to comply with preventive measures and isolation protocols for travelers arriving from abroad, after the reopening of the borders in the middle October. Faced with this situation, the authorities decided to reverse the de-escalation in several provinces, including Havana, and the return of restrictions on public activities, as well as new limitations on public transport, among other measures. By provinces, eastern Santiago de Cuba reported the highest numbers this day, with 89 new cases, a record for a territory that did not register infections for several months of 2020. It is followed with 85 positives by Havana, which has maintained a high incidence steadily in the last two months, which this week led to its decline from phase 3 to phase 1 of the de-escalation and the tightening of measures to stop transmission. HAVANA CLOSES The Defense Council of the capital announced on Saturday a package of 22 limitations that affect the sectors of health, education, transport, tourism, gastronomy, employment and self-employment. Since last night public transport (state and private) will not be able to circulate from nine at night to five in the morning, and from the 12th the connections with the rest of the provinces will be suspended. Bars and nightlife centers, cinemas, theaters and recreational parks were also closed again, family visits to prisons were suspended and – under threat of high fines and even prison – private parties were banned, at which the authorities they blame a high percentage of sprouts during the end of the year celebrations. The schools will remain open for now, and the José Martí airport will also continue to operate. Other provinces with high numbers of cases this day were eastern Guantánamo (54) and western Matanzas (45). At this time, 5,181 people remain admitted to Cuban hospitals: 2,534 active cases (seven in critical condition and 17 serious), 1,731 suspected and 916 under observation. (c) EFE Agency

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