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Wed Jul 8, 2020, 06:35 AM

How Cuba and Uruguay are quashing coronavirus as neighbours struggle

HEALTH 3 July 2020
By Luke Taylor



Nurse Yosian Diago checks door-to-door for people with symptoms of covid-19 in Havana, Cuba, in June
Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters/PA Images

As coronavirus cases soar in the US, Brazil and other countries in the Americas, some countries have found strategies to contain the virus and limit deaths.

More than 5 million confirmed cases of covid-19 and nearly 250,000 related deaths have been reported in the Americas as of 29 June, around half of the world total. The coronavirus is spreading exponentially in many countries, warned Carissa Etienne, the director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on 9 June.

But in a few places, the picture is very different. Cuba, an island of 11.3 million people is an unlikely exemplar of how to manage a pandemic, according to Michael Bustamante at Florida International University. Its infamously long queues for state-provided goods make social distancing and self-isolation difficult, he says, and the country’s healthcare system, “suffers from scarcities and material shortages that are characteristic of the Cuban economy as a whole”.

. . .

What the health system lacks in materials, it makes up for in workforce – it has the highest doctor-per-patient ratio in the world, 8.19 per 1000. By comparison, Brazil has 2.15, and the US 2.6.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2247740-how-cuba-and-uruguay-are-quashing-coronavirus-as-neighbours-struggle/#ixzz6Rb9jJpWk

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