In Covid battle, Cuba touts its health care products, ‘technological sovereignty’

Tom Smith

HAVANA — Cuba’s homegrown vaccine candidates have designed headlines throughout the world. A lot less properly-acknowledged is its output of medical gear these kinds of as ventilators and CT scanners for the therapy of COVID-19 patients in a bid to attain “technological sovereignty” all through the pandemic. All through a […]

HAVANA — Cuba’s homegrown vaccine candidates have designed headlines throughout the world. A lot less properly-acknowledged is its output of medical gear these kinds of as ventilators and CT scanners for the therapy of COVID-19 patients in a bid to attain “technological sovereignty” all through the pandemic.

All through a tour of output facilities in Havana on Wednesday, officers touted the medical gear that experienced enabled them to help save money and hold the mortality rate from COVID-19 minimal even as other international locations experienced struggled to import these kinds of products.

“Our country is saving revenue and could save lots of tens of millions of pounds many thanks to all the effects of sovereignty we have obtained,” mentioned Eduardo Martínez, head of condition-operate biopharmaceutical company BioCubaFarma.

The Communist-run island country has sought to create these kinds of producing in section in reaction to the decades-aged U.S. trade embargo, tightened by previous President Donald Trump, which hampers the import of medical gear.

Everyday coronavirus conditions strike a new record of 1,051 on the island of 11 million inhabitants on Wednesday, bringing the overall to much more than 75,000. Fatalities continue being lower at 424, a person of the most affordable rates per capita around the world.

Cuba reported late final 12 months it experienced used $100 million on confronting the pandemic so significantly, a pressure on the financial state that had now been suffering shortages of even fundamental items this kind of as drugs and food.

The state is on the brink of a possible big biopharmaceutical achievement, namely the enhancement of a homegrown vaccine. Its most superior prospect, at the moment in phase three trials, is referred to as Sovereignty 2.

“The success we have had right up until now forecast very satisfactory outcomes and consequently we maintain that ahead of calendar year-close, our inhabitants will be immunized with the vaccines we are building,” stated Martínez.

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