Covid-19: talking about it in present tense

Covid-19: talking about it in present tense
Fecha de publicación: 
5 February 2023
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We must still talk about Covid-19 and its transmission in present tense. It is dangerous to ignore and forget the last three years where virus SARS-CoV-2 kept the entire world in check and grieve. 6.5 million deaths and other 606 million people infected prove us right.

However, and it is fair to say so, 1,095 days of fight against this demon is enough to cause excessive social weariness. Not to mention the economic crisis and the collapse in hospitals derived from it.

Today, and after the lessening of the pandemic, the population seems relaxed. Next threat? Live under a relaxation regarding preventive behavior towards coronavirus, which may lead to a very likely and dangerous niche for future contagions.

Hence, there is no doubts that the global epidemiological scenario is at risk to become sloppy and get out of control given that Covid-19 is still out there. 

Anyway, that would be a situation that international health organizations and the scientific community will surely try to prevent after so many sacrifices and achievements obtained through vaccines and multiple containment actions.

Not surprisingly, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently updated its guidelines on clinical care, treatments against Covid-19 and the use of face masks.

This procedure is part of the permanent review and consultation process with groups of experts carried out by this United Nations agency.

Within the recommended guidelines for citizens, it obviously reiterates wearing a face mask in certain circumstances such as closed spaces or large crowds. Also to those who are suspect of having the virus or are likely to present serious symptoms of the disease.

Likewise, the new WHO regulations insist that patients with symptoms of Covid-19 isolate themselves for 10 days from the first day they noticed their signs.

On the other hand, for people who test positive, but who do not show signs of the disease, the indication will now be five days of isolation. It is worth remembering the importance of individual confinement, even in one's own home, as a guarantee to prevent the spread.

Cuba and its reality

At the end of last December, Dr. José Angel Portal Miranda, Cuba’s Minister of Public Health, presented an exhaustive report where he exposed the national epidemiological panorama, the behavior of Covid-19 and the measures that the country would take if an epidemic outbreak pops up again.

Consistent with what the WHO now recommends, the Dr. Portal Miranda warned that even though the island is in a better epidemiological situation, the increase in transmission in recent weeks becomes a clear alert to the public that Covid-19 has not disappeared.

Hence, he insisted on adopting physical distancing and protection measures at home, giving maximum importance to the use of the mask in places with crowds of people or closed spaces; extreme individual and collective hygiene and hand washing.

A statistic that currently offers some confidence in the Caribbean nation and that, perhaps, influences certain social attitudes of negligence in the face of health warnings, is the fact that 98.6 percent of Cubans, who can receive the vaccines, have completed their prophylaxis schedule.

However, Portal Miranda warned that, if necessary, the measures that, at the time, were designed to control the epidemic, would be updated.

In short, the wisest decisions should always lead us towards self-care and the protection of those around us, whether at home, the community, the work or social environment. Maintaining a vocation of co-responsibility could be the first step.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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