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With a hit economy, Cuba changed the strategy against the coronavirus: they open shops and allow the arrival of tourists

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Havana will be left out of most of the new measures, since it is one of the cities with a resurgence of cases.

Cuba changed its strategy to face the new coronavirus through a “new normal” which includes public offices and open shops and greater mobility of citizens, but with mandatory use of a chinstrap and maintaining social distance.

Furthermore, contacts of suspected cases will no longer be compulsory isolated in special centers as has been done up to now and domestic and foreign passengers could be received at all airports, except in Havana.

The authorities recognized the need to get the economy going, hit by seven months of closures and restrictions and by the US sanctions that seek to suffocate the island’s finances to force a change in the political model.

Although this “new normal” will be applied in most of the country’s provinces after weeks of some control of the epidemic, in Havana, home to two million people and which had a complicated outbreak in August, there will still be limitations.

Since March, when the first cases of COVID-19 were detected, the island has been closed to tourism, the most dynamic sector in the country and cwith annual revenues close to 3,000 million dollars and a similar figure for private entrepreneurs who operate lodging houses, restaurants or shops.

All sectors were affected, from farmers, through transportation and services, as well as the remittances sent to the island by Cubans living abroad. The independent workers of the State, Emerging and still vulnerable economic actors were among the most affected.

According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the drop in the Gross Domestic Product of Cuba will exceed 8% this year.

“Today we are at a time when the level of discharges exceeds the daily cases (of COVID-19), in which Havana has come to be more controlled … and there is a group of provinces that have lived several months without reporting cases, ” said President Miguel Díaz-Canel last week when announcing the new strategy to face the coronavirus.

The authorities also asked citizens to support the state effort through self-care to prevent transmission of the virus.

Primary care – the rapid diagnosis of cases, isolation and house-to-house research by doctors and nurses– It was one of the bases to achieve a relative control of infections and a low mortality.

On Monday the Ministry of Health reported that 22 new cases had been detected for an accumulated since March of almost 6,000 infected of which 123 died.

On October 15, the Varadero resort will open for international tourists, which will be added to the hotels in the keys opened in July.

Tourists will undergo mandatory tests and epidemiological monitoring while they are on the island.

Source: AP

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