HAVANA, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Mario Ramirez, a 46-year-old engineer residing in the Cuban province of Matanzas, has adopted new measures to avoid getting infected amid the third wave of coronavirus across the country.
He lives in a two-bedroom apartment with his wife, a six-month-old baby, and his grandmother who suffers from diabetes and cardiopathy.
"The number of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths has dramatically increased here. I need to take care of myself and my family," he told Xinhua.
Cuba's coronavirus epicenter has shifted from Havana to Matanzas, home to 712,400 inhabitants and the place where Juan Gualberto Gomez international airport locates.
The Caribbean nation on Tuesday set a COVID-19 daily case record of 3,591 infections, of which 874 were recorded in Matanzas, followed by Havana and Santiago de Cuba.
Additionally, over the past two weeks, Matanzas has registered 8,844 confirmed cases and a single-day record for a Cuban province with 1,191 infections.
At present, there are 5,600 COVID-19 active cases and 4,000 people under epidemiological surveillance in Matanzas, where a sanitary intervention with domestic vaccine candidates is already underway.
On top of that, Matanzas is still recovering from the impact of tropical storm Elsa, where 26,000 people remain evacuated due to floods, water supply shortage, and damaged network and power grid.
In parallel, a mass vaccination campaign is already underway across five municipalities of the province as some 200 doctors and nurses from across the country will arrive in Matanzas on Wednesday.
"(Cuban medical) brigades will support Matanzas to overcome the most complex epidemiological situation in the country. Our doctors thrive in the face of difficulties and build bridges to help in the hardest moments. Thanks, again, for such altruism," Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said on Twitter.
Authorities have adopted measures to increase bed capacities for COVID-19 patients in intensive care units in Matanzas.
Meanwhile, in Matanzas's Varadero, one of the top-rated beaches worldwide, hygiene standards have been reinforced as international tourists continue to arrive.
Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero said that it was required to guarantee availability of health professionals at the neighborhood's doctor offices.
"Medical assistance at the community level is the most important structure and pillar of the Cuban public health system," he said. "We are clear of the hard work being done here, but we have to work even harder. You have the advantage of not being pessimistic. We will make it." Enditem