During President Díaz-Canel’s last regular meeting with scientists directly involved in the COVID-19 battle, results of work underway evaluating Cuban protocols followed in treatment of the disease were examined
In his latest dialogue with experts and scientists directly involved in the country’s battle against Covid-19, President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez again noted the usefulness of these weekly meetings, during which results of work underway are examined demonstrating the strengths of Cuban protocols followed in treatment of the disease.
In particular, Díaz-Canel highlighted the effort made in caring for the pediatric population, with the principal success of this work being that no child or adolescent has died, as a result of the new coronavirus, given the differentiated attention they received from the first moment of the epidemic.
In commenting on the evolution of the disease in Cuba, the President pointed out that the number of patients who reach critical or serious condition continues to decrease, and most remain in these conditions for a short period of time. “This also shows the soundness of the protocols that have been used,” he said.
Diaz-Canel also expressed his certainty that, as the days pass and experience acquired by medical brigades combating the epidemic in other nations is evaluated, better treatment protocols will be available for all possible scenarios, especially in the functioning of intensive care units.
It was precisely the evolution of some of these protocols that was the focus of the day’s agenda, with Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz also on hand.
The first report was presented by Dr. Lissette López González, head of the Ministry of Public Health’s national pediatric group, who outlined how children and adolescents have been impacted by COVID-19.
She explained that thus far, 274 pediatric patients have been confirmed positive for the new coronavirus, representing 11.3% of the total number of cases diagnosed in the country. Ninety-two percent have been discharged from the hospital and are receiving follow-up at home. Dr. López noted that 55% of these patients are male and that the incidence rate is highest for adolescents between 15 and 18 years of age.
Taking into account the clinical evolution of each of these patients, the relevant modifications have been made to different treatment protocols, she noted.
Over the course of these months, she stated, the importance of work at the primary care level has become evident, noting that active monitoring has been a key strength in the detection of infected children and adolescents, and that preventative measures have been essential to containing the epidemic.
Dr. López also reported that, since April, when the global alert on Multisystemic Inflammatory Syndrome was issued, immediate attention was paid to the issue in the country, conducting thorough epidemiological surveillance efforts.
To date, she said, only two patients have been diagnosed with this illness linked to COVID-19 in Cuba and, although both developed severe complications, their response to treatment was positive. They have recovered, and are receiving regular attention to prevent possible long term effects.
The Cuban protocol designed for these cases, as well as the constant supervision of multidisciplinary work teams, made it possible to satisfactorily overcome the numerous complications that arose in these cases, she said.
Another of the issues discussed was related to experience gained in the treatment of Covid-19 patients requiring intensive care. These findings were explained by Dr. Ileana Morales Suárez, the Ministry of Public Health’s director of Science and Technological Innovation, in an interactive presentation developed to share these experiences, which also allowed for evaluation of elements that can be included in medical school curricula for related specialties.
Of 2,399 COVID-19 patients, confirmed at the time of the study, only 172 had been admitted to intensive care units, representing 7.1%. Unfortunately, 86 died, while 67 were reported to have reached critical condition, and 105 serious condition….