Graphing with forecast models the behavior of the COVID-19 epidemic in Cuba, in a stretch that runs from March 11, 2020 to March 2022, it can be said that already We are going downhill, overcoming the explosion of confirmed cases, and that the future is a downward trend, in a sustained way, in the figures of transmission of the disease.
In this way, Dr.C. Raúl Guinovart Díaz, dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computing at the University of Havana, who, supported as usual by the exact sciences, opened the meeting of experts and scientists who are immersed in science and technological innovation activities for the confrontation with the new coronavirus.
This important meeting was held from the Palace of the Revolution, which was headed by the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, as well as by the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz; both members of the Political Bureau.
“The decline will be slow, although for hospitalized cases the curve does present a rapid decline,” said the expert while explaining various graphs; and he shared the certainty that “by the end of the year we would be in a situation more or less similar to what we had in October and November of last year.”
In the opinion of the mathematician, tAll provinces show a tendency to control, even those that are presenting the highest incidence rates of disease transmission, such as Pinar del Río, Sancti Spíritus, Camagüey and Las Tunas.
Regarding the number of deaths, Guinovart said, the numbers are stabilizing throughout the country. And he drew attention to provinces that have managed to reduce the incidence of COVID-19 transmission but not the fatality. In this regard, he said: We must investigate the causes, because it is necessary to lower (the levels of) the incidence, but it is also important that people do not die.
The dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computing of the University of Havana, highlighted the high levels that Cuba has in terms of the recovery of those who are affected by the new coronavirus: The figure – he emphasized – represents a tremendous effort. And at that point in the meeting, President Díaz-Canel Bermúdez recalled that this number rises to 97.5 percent of the total of those who fall ill, when in the world it is 90.46 percent; and in the Americas, 85.3.
“That says a lot about the quality of the medical care process,” Guinovart reflected, “but it also says a lot about the entire vaccination process, about the quality of the vaccines, which has managed to save many people.”
On this subject, the expert affirmed that, if vaccination had not occurred in the country, and at the rate that it has taken place, today we would be talking – according to an analysis that covers from last July 14 to the present – about 300,000 cases additional positives, even a higher number.
“Without vaccination,” he emphasized, “3,000 more people could have died than we have in our record today. And the number of hospitalized would have been tremendous if the vaccination process had not started, and with the intensity with which it has been achieved ”.
Other voices of science
The conference of experts and scientists also dealt with the variants of SARs CoV-2 circulating in Cuba, a topic whose main presentation was in charge of Dr.C. Guadalupe Guzmán Tirado.
Once the meeting was over, the expert spoke with journalists, to whom she offered a detailed explanation of the exposition shared earlier in the exchange with the country’s leadership: “Last year, she commented, what Cuba had circulating (itself) was the variant D614G —of the SARs CoV-2—, which prevailed in the world and was what entered our territory “.
Said variant, said Guadalupe Guzmán, continued to circulate on the Island during 2020; but at the end of that year others began to enter.
The Doctor of Science pointed out that variant means that “the virus undergoes changes, and when a series of mutations accumulate, it remains the same virus but it is not exactly the same as the original; and these changes, most of the time, do not produce an effect as such, but some can have an impact on a greater transmission and severity of the disease, or that vaccines do not work ”.
In January of this year, the expert pointed out, the entry of other variants of the new coronavirus began to be observed. In this recent period, and until September, he asserted, some 17 variants of SARs CoV-2 have been detected in the country.
Guadalupe Guzmán explained to the press that the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes four “Variants of concern” – “the word says it, I have to worry because it is associated with transmission, it is associated with severity” -: Alfha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta.
Alpha entered the Island and produced cases; and in the world it caused a very negative impact, but among us it has not been the “variant of concern” that prevailed: “In Cuba – according to the specialist – the variant Beta prevailed first”, which caused the peak of the month of April. And at the end of May, the Delta variant is detected, “which is the most transmissible of all on a world scale, and it has also been so in our country.”
“Delta, said the Doctor of Science, began to circulate little by little but it has prevailed. (…) It is not that the others do not exist, but when one studies, studies a group of cases, (…) it is Delta who predominates ”.
The analysis of forecasts carried out in conjunction with the Faculty of Mathematics and Computing of the University of Havana, are saying that Delta will continue to circulate in the country at least until next December, and that will be the predominant variant associated with transmission.
Another piece of information of interest was provided by the doctor: “We have seen that Delta produces serious cases and deaths; Alpha too; but Beta, which we are talking about (about its presence) in the period mainly of the months of March, April and May, was associated to a great extent with serious cases and deaths ”.
During the meeting, the proposed Strategy for the administration of booster doses with anti-SARS CoV2 vaccines was also presented. Dr.C. Rolando Perez Rodríguez was in charge of the presentation in this regard, in which he made reference to the bases that support this shielding process.
Among other reasons, he spoke about the data on the safety, efficacy and effectiveness of Cuban vaccines; of the preliminary evidence of an increase in the immune response with a booster dose with Abdala, Soberana Plus and Soberana 01; the high level of transmission of the Delta variant, and the risk of the appearance of new “variants of concern”.
In the same tone of battle against the epidemic, the meeting of the Temporary Working Group of the Government to confront COVID-19 was held, which was headed by President Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, by Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz , and by the Vice President of the Republic, and member of the Political Bureau, Salvador Valdés Mesa.
The videoconference made possible the exchange of the country’s leadership with all the provinces and with the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud. The epidemiological situation, the availability of medicinal oxygen, as well as the electro-energetic situation were part of the agenda.
Among other data, it was learned – through the explanation of the Minister of Public Health, José Angel Portal Miranda – that October marks a decrease in the decrease in the intensity of transmission of the epidemic, by 46.3 percent, in relation to the end of the month of September.