Tag: Cuba

Cuba bets on their biotech industry in the race to treat coronavirus

Cuba bets on their biotech industry in the race to treat coronavirus

HAVANA—Communist-run Cuba, laboring under a six-decade U.S. embargo, is betting a biotech sector begun by late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro can give the Caribbean island an edge in a global race to find effective treatments for the new coronavirus.

Cuba is especially touting an interferon it produces, a decades old antiviral agent that boosts the immune system.

The island nation says it has been successful in treating the novel coronavirus at home and in China, and that 80 countries have already expressed an interest in buying its interferon alpha 2b.

The government is hoping that its interferon and other treatments it is developing will provide a lift to its struggling economy.

“We have good products like interferon alpha 2b that we are exporting and that open possibilities,” Trade Minister Rodrigo Malmierca said during a recent televised roundtable.

Interferons have long been used internationally to treat dengue fever, cancer and hepatitis

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Cuba, Bolivia close borders, Brazil slashes growth expectations

Cuba, Bolivia close borders, Brazil slashes growth expectations

Montevideo (AFP) – Cuba and Bolivia announced on Friday they were closing their borders while Brazil drastically slashed its growth projections for 2020 over the coronavirus pandemic.

Latin American countries continued to ramp up measures to contain the virus outbreak with more than 30 deaths from the COVID-19 disease and total cases soaring over 3,000.

– Cuba –

President Miguel Diaz-Canel finally closed the borders to non-residents after long bucking a regional trend.

Economically crippled by US sanctions, Cuba is largely dependent on its tourism revenue.

The measure will come into effect on Tuesday and will last for 30 days. There are 60,000 tourists currently in Cuba.

Cuba has seen 21 cases with one Italian tourist dying.

More than 28,000 medical students took part in a neighborhood-by-neighborhood “active search” to stop “people who could have the illness infecting others,” said Jorge Gonzalez, dean at Havana’s University of Medicine.

The program

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Cuba warns virus panic bad for immune system

Cuba warns virus panic bad for immune system

By Sarah Marsh

HAVANA (Reuters) – In the face of global panic over the coronavirus pandemic, Cuba’s Communist government has urged calm, saying stress weakens the immune system, and has taken more time than its Caribbean neighbors to introduce drastic measures as it touts the strength of its health system.

The government has suspended large cultural and sporting events, and on Friday said it would start barring entry to tourists. But so far it has steered clear of ordering workers and students to remain at home.

Cuba is renowned for its preparedness in advance of natural disasters such as epidemics and for its medical prowess. It sends its doctors to health crises around the world, including the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016.

With the world’s highest ratios of physicians to population, according to the World Bank, Cuba has tens of thousands of doctors as well as medicine students

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