New COVID-19 positive cases confirmed in Las Tunas

During this weekend, the health authorities reported four new positive cases to COVID-19, residents in the municipality of Las Tunas; for a cumulative of seven people diagnosed in this eastern province.

Las Tunas, Cuba.- Dr. Diego Julián Álvarez Dopazo, director of the Provincial Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology (CPHEM), told 26Digital that all maintain a favorable evolution and most of their contacts do not present symptoms of the disease.

The 19-year-old patient, whose positive was made known on Saturday, resides at Kilometer 2 1/2, Jobabo road, belonging to the health area of the Aquiles Espinosa polyclinic. She is the mother of a 55-day-old boy, who has been admitted several times to the Mártires de Las Tunas pediatric hospital with respiratory conditions.

The last of his son's admissions was on April 5 and due to his age, he was treated first in the Intensive Care Unit and then he went to a respiratory ward of the same healthcare institution.

The following day, in that service, real-time PCR was performed on several children, mothers and companions for being contacts of a suspected infant to COVID-19, who also remained hospitalized there. Among those investigated was the 19-year-old young mother who tested positive for the disease and was sent to the center to attend these cases in the province of Holguín.

Álvarez Dopazo commented that the patient remains asymptomatic and is treated according to medical protocols. He stressed that “when this diagnosis was known, we worked with the rapid response groups activated in all areas of health, accompanied by professionals from the Provincial and Municipal Hygiene and Epidemiology units. All working together on the focus control of each confirmed case," he said.

As a result of this action, which is one of the most important to contain the transmission of the disease, 19 contacts were detected. "All of them underwent the study and remain in isolation centers set up for that purpose," he said. Although there are some indications about her possible source of contagion, they are still investigating to be absolutely certain.

“We emphasize that a significant number of contacts are still emerging in the fieldwork, which tells us of a breach in the social isolation measures indicated by the Ministry of Public Health and the country's leadership. And this can negatively influence the containment of the COVID-19.”


COVID-19 in Las Tunas

Dr. Dopazo explained that the 60-year-old patient, positive for the disease, resides in the La Loma district, Las Tunas municipality. However, he clarified that in the control of her contacts, residents of Maceo Street, where she cares for her sister, who suffers from an oncological condition, were also studied. Both addresses belong to the health area of the Manuel (Piti) Fajardo polyclinic.

“She is a worker in the clinical laboratory of the Pediatric Hospital and is also considered a contact resulting from the controls carried out around the suspected patient of COVID-19 admitted to that institution.

"After the result, she was sent to Holguín and her evolution is favorable. And while there are some clues, the source of the contagion is still being worked on. Regarding this case, 24 contacts were detected, who are isolated under epidemiological surveillance with good general condition. They all had a sample taken for study and are pending the results.”

Regarding the 57-year-old patient, Álvarez Dopazo explained that she suffers from high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes mellitus. She resides in the building known as 12 Floors, framed within the health area of the Manuel (Piti) Fajardo polyclinic.

For all these pathologies, the doctor said, she had regular treatment. She began to present burning with urination, abdominal pain and when evaluated by the Basic Health Team she is diagnosed with urinary sepsis. She complied with the treatment, but as of April 4, her abdominal pain and symptoms of general malaise increased.

She was evaluated by the Ernesto Guevara Hospital Surgery Service and, due to her condition; it was determined to be admitted for study for a vesicular disorder. There she remained hospitalized and the next day began to present respiratory symptoms (cough, slight lack of air) and was transferred to the respiratory service.

After radiological investigations, an inflammatory lung disease in the right base was observed. On April 7, they took the sample for real-time PCR, complying with the national indication to perform it on all patients admitted with respiratory infections. She was also transferred to the province of Holguín and maintains a stable general state.

He explained that "her 29 contacts are in the isolation centers of the province without warning signs."

Lastly, a 74-year-old patient was confirmed, who in addition to his advanced age, has a medical record of high blood pressure, kidney failure and has been bedridden for two years by a brain-vascular disease. He was treated at Emergencies of the Ernesto Guevara Hospital, referred from his health area, as he had respiratory distress, cough and whitish expectoration.

He was admitted to the respiratory service of the aforementioned healthcare facility with a severe respiratory infection. At the time of admission, the patient was residing on Luis Manuel Suárez Street, belonging to the health area of the Gustavo Aldereguía Lima polyclinic.

On April 7, a rapid test was performed, which was negative. During that day, the sample was taken for real-time PCR examination, also in accordance with national protocols, which finally tested positive.
Around this case, a total of 28 contacts were detected, only seven of them in the community, taking into account that he is a person with restricted mobility.

It is important to highlight, said Dr. Dopazo, that from the very moment of the admission of the last two referred patients, research actions began to be carried out to increase control through the epidemiological survey and determine the source of infection, a process that has not yet concluded. "All the contacts are still isolated and the PCR was done," he said.

"It is imperative to gain risk perception. The population has really incorporated the use of protective masks for protection, but it is still necessary to achieve social distancing, which is today one of the main actions to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

“I mean that there are cases that are emerging positive as a result of focus checks on other suspects; this speaks of increased risk. Any of us could be a carrier of this virus and be transmitting the disease by not complying with the hygiene and isolation measures.” It was the final message of the director of the Provincial Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology, who today remains at the forefront of this battle for life.