Could Cuba save Italy and the world from Coronavirus?
Cuban doctors and medicine to rescue the world from COVID-19
While the first clinical test for a Coronavirus vaccine started in the United States today, Cuba may have already developed a successful medicine able to cure COVID-19. The western world has been slow to recognize the potential that this small Caribbean nation is contributing to the biggest challenge the world has faced in a very long time.
It’s almost a miracle Cuba only has four active but not serious infections of Coronavirus. No one died in Cuba from a COVID-19 infection yet. The sick in Cuba include three Italian tourists and one Cuban national with dozens of others quarantined out of precaution with suspected but unconfirmed cases under quarantine.
The communist Caribbean country was one of the last in the Americas and the Caribbean to report the presence of the infection in its territory.
Cuban doctors are at the forefront, to the point that they have always been sent by their government all over the world to respond to health emergencies. For example, let’s think about the Ebola emergency in West Africa in 2013.
The Cuban Ministry of Health estimates that from the 1960s to today, its doctors have been active on as many as 600,000 missions in 164 countries. Many of them are still active in 67 countries, especially African and Latin American countries.
Radio Havana Cuba is the official government-run international broadcasting station of Cuba. It can be heard in many parts of the world including the United States. The station reported on drugs already developed in Cuba able to cure the virus. This news was also published in Morning Star News in the U.K., China, and Cuba News.
Today, the Cuban Embassy in Rome, Italy, highlighted the offer by the Italian-Cuba Friendship Organization (ANAIC) and the National Coordinator of Cuban Residents in Italy (CONACI) that had sent separate calls to Italian authorities to evaluate the possibility of requesting a contribution from Cuba, with medical personnel and the Cuban antiviral interferon Alfa 2 B, which has been used successfully against # COVID19 in China.
According to reports from China, Alfa 2B contributed greatly to stopping the spread of the virus to a minimum.
Giulio Gallera, Councilor for Health and Well-being of the Lombardy Region in Italy, publicly informed, on Saturday, March 14, 2020, that he had requested medical assistance from Cuba. The Cuban Consulate responded in saying: It is my duty to confirm that we have actually received a letter from Mr. Gallera, who formalizes the request to have Cuban personnel specialized in the management of communicable diseases. This letter was duly forwarded by the Cuban embassy to Italy to the competent Cuban authorities, with whom we remain in contact for these purposes.”
The Cuban pharmaceutical industry is ready to treat thousands of potential COVID-19 patients on the island, according to Eduardo Martínez, president of the BioCubaFarma Business Group.
Martínez explained this Friday at a press conference that 22 drugs produced in Cuba are part of the protocol envisaged on the island to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, of which, he said, “We have for the treatment of thousands of people, and we are preparing to significantly increase the production of those with less coverage.”
In the Caribbean, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines announced that they would request or have already requested medical assistance from their Cuban counterparts.
The first batch of 21 specialist nurses from Cuba will arrive in Jamaica on March 24 to boost the capacity of the health system to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“We’re trying to get about 100 additional specialist nurses in the system, focusing primarily on high-intensity units or ICU (intensive care unit),” told Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton to St. Lucia News.
The minister, who was addressing a press briefing on March 13 at the Office of the Prime Minister, said the development follows discussions with the Cuban government.
Terrance Drew, a health expert from the opposition St. Kitts and Nevis Labor Party (SKNLP), said they want to ask Cuban authorities for “help in creating an infrastructure and a plan to treat people who become infected.”
eTurboNews reached out to the Hon. Minister of Tourism from Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett, for his input, but there has been no response yet. Bartlett is also the head of the Global Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCM) based in Jamaica.
In the meantime, frustration peaks in Italy:
Once again, the greatest solidarity and contribution come from socialist countries. And this while the European Union is completely disorganized in the face of this emergency (to the point of not having a common policy on the matter) and is doing almost nothing serious in favor of our country. Italy is receiving much fewer funds compared to Spain, Poland, and Hungary, despite being the country most affected by the virus to date.
The Cuban pharmaceutical industry guaranteed Saturday the production of the 22 drugs used for the treatment of the COVID-19 coronavirus, especially Interferon Alpha 2B, which has proven to be very effective in fighting the disease.
Cuban medicine could treat thousands of coronavirus patients.
President of the BioCubaFarma group Eduardo Martinez explained that the island Republic has developed 22 drugs that are set to be used to contain the outbreak.
So far it is known that one of the drugs manufactured by Cuba, Interferon B, has managed to effectively cure more than 1,500 patients of the coronavirus and is one of 30 drugs chosen by the Chinese National Health Commission to combat respiratory disease.
It was first developed in 1986 by a team of researchers from the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) and introduced into the Cuban health system.
Mr. Martinez described Interferon B as “the flagship product of the set of Cuban medicines” with the drug developed in both Cuba and China in a joint venture as part of an agreement between the socialist countries.
He said the drug could also be exported to other countries to help contain the spread of the virus and treat those that are showing symptoms.
CIGB director Eulogio Pimentel said that it had enough supplies that “would be equivalent to treating practically all the infected cases that occurred in China” where more than 80,000 people have been infected.
Cuba has sent a team of doctors and supplies of Interferon B to Italy where it is working alongside Chinese experts to help combat and contain the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
The Recombinant Human Interferon Alpha 2B, produced in Cuba, as well as another group of medications, are part of the protocol to care for patients with this disease and any complications that may arise.
Martinez Diaz assured that the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) has “all the capabilities to supply this antiviral to the national health system.”
Cuba has been supplying the drug, which is produced with Cuban technology at the Changchun Heber Biological Technology joint venture, located in Jilin, China.
It is currently used in vulnerable and health care personnel as a preventive measure, as well as in patients with COVID-19 in the form of a nebulization, as it is a quick route to reach the lungs and act in the early stages of the infection, the officials highlighted.
In relation to this therapeutic drug, the deputy director of the CIGB Marta Ayala Avila explained that interferons are molecules that the body itself produces in response to viral attacks, making them the first organic response of the immune system to combat disease.
In previous outbreaks of the coronavirus, SARS in 2002 and MERS in 2012, interferons were also being used for the care and treatment of infected people.
Later published studies showed that these viruses, instead of inducing the creation of interferon in the body, decrease the production of these molecules, hence the effectiveness of the drug in treating COVID-19.
Director-General Eulogio Pimentel Vazquez told media that they had an inventory of the product that would be equivalent to the amount necessary to treat the total of all the infected that occurred in China,
The information was collected from a number of Cuban, Chinese, Jamaican, Italian, and British sources and not all items mentioned in this report could be confirmed independently by eTurboNews.