woman during coronavirus in Cuba

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5 facts about coronavirus in Cuba and how we can help

Coronavirus in Cuba is on our minds too these days, since we’ve learned Cuba surpassed the 500 confirmed cases early in April. According to WorldoMeter.info, Cuba has over 700 cases on April 15. While the island continues its social solidarity campaign, there are other factors that impacts the country. Here are 4 facts that went viral these days… Plus some tips on how we can help Cubans from the distance, to keep safe.

1. Countries hit by coronavirus need Cuban doctors

Cuban doctor

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

According to Financial Times, the Cuban medical system has a world reputation for being a medical powerhouse. That’s why many countries now need their help. It seems this fact creates diplomatic opportunities for Cuba, as well as nurses and physicians out there, already contributing to the coronavirus fight in China, Italy, Andorra, besides many other countries worldwide.

Solidarity has been a practice in Cuba for centuries, but now there’s also another reason for sending doctors. Medical exports bring twice as much as tourism as an annual income.

Although some medical aid is free, serving in some countries comes with an invoice, which is an opportunity for some doctors to get paid more than they usually do at home on the island.

Cuba offers some countries free medical assistance out of solidarity, while other countries pay for the services. The workers who deploy typically receive only about 20% of the salaries the host countries pay for their assistance — a reduced wage, but much more than Cuban doctors earn in hospitals back home, where a top salary is about $60 a month. (Patrick Oppmann, CNN)

2. The Guardian published a memorable online photo gallery of street life during the pandemic

Restrictions are less severe than in the most European countries, yet a bit more precautious than Sweden. Cubans can go out only if strictly necessary and always wearing a protective mask.

The Guardian has pictured that in a memorable online gallery called Coronavirus in Cuba in Pictures.

3. UK gives official thanks to Cuban doctors pointing out their special qualities

Antony Stokes, the British ambassador, says in the official thank you letter for Cuban medical help that…

During Operation Braemar, I witnessed the many qualities of the Cuban people, their humanitarian principles, kindness and hard-working attitude; facets of the Cuban character that I have come to know and love since I came to the country. (quoted by The Independent)

4. The Embargo seems to be an obstacle in getting supplies

medical doctor in Cuba

Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash

Not our suspicion, but Cuba’s Foreign Minister tweeted on social media about coronavirus in Cuba being threatened by the embargo as a hindrance for medical supplies. Voices in Cuba call for the relaxation of U.S. embargo, according to France24.com sources:

As the deadly coronavirus spreads across Cuba, with 726 cases recorded by Monday, a growing chorus of voices is calling for an easing of the decades-long US embargo.

Why? The 1962 document signed “permits the export of healthcare products — medical equipment, medical instruments, medical supplies and pharmaceuticals” (John Kavulich, president of the US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council). We didn’t mention the import right? Now that’s the whole point now, with coronavirus in Cuba creating new medical needs.

Yet, China donated supplies to combat coronavirus in Cuba according to XinHuaNet.

5. Cuba’s government points out the importance of staying calm

Even before coronavirus in Cuba made the first victims, the goverment took a measure that other nations didn’t rush to take that early. While European media broke the keep-calm protocol and created some panic for spectacular news and implicit good scoring, Cuba pointed out officially that stress brings harm to the immune system, a reality that practitioners confirmed worldwide.

Cuba’s Communist government has urged calm, saying stress weakens the immune system, and has taken more time than its Caribbean neighbors to introduce drastic measures as it touts the strength of its health system. (Sarah Marsh, Reuters.com)

HOW TO HELP in times of coronavirus in Cuba

Cuban man receiving Cubacel top up from abroad

Photo by wassim mechergui on Unsplash

Since transport is reduced in Cuba, best thing is to keep your friends and family safe is to help them avoid stores. Plus, sanitary measures in Cuba require some extra costs per family or individual. That’s why we could help from abroad…

  • Order food delivery in Cuba for your family or friends there via Send Foods services like Havagardens, AlaMesa and many more.
  • Send financial support via online services like AisRemesas, EnvioDinero, etc. But please consider we do not know how these work, so the best thing to do is to google “how to send money to cuba” and check out the details on the platforms that offer the money transfer services, as well as reviews.
  • Donate to official organizations in Cuba
  • Top up their mobile phones with Cubacel data & talk via MobileRecharge.com and MobileRecharge app. Stay tuned for PROMOS. And one is coming up soon, next week. Free SMS included.