At this writing Cuba, our historical half-sister, has not reported a single case of Covid-19 virus. Those who loathe the regime in that island republic will surely say that there is no freedom of information there so negative news is stifled and only good news, if there is any such thing, escapes government censorship. I listen to radio reports every day, several times a day, since the outbreak of Covid-19 and not once have I heard Cuba mentioned. Ironically enough, while we have to bear “enhanced community quarantines,” the People’s Republic of China where the virus originated has just announced to the world that it has conquered this modern-day plague. Despite the death of thousands, Covid 19 is no more, in China. Or, am I hearing things?
From reports sent by the Philippine-Cuba Friendship Association, I learned that the Public Health Ministry of Cuba gave a press conference to let the people know how the government is implementing epidemiological surveillance to protect the country from the dreaded virus. Like us, the Cubans were also instructed how to wash their hands, to avoid touching their faces, how not to cough and other considerations that we conscientiously practice. There are no lockdowns or “community quarantine,” enhanced or not. Hardly any Cubans travel abroad, but the country does receive some 4.5 million tourists, of all nationalities, every year. The government has also imposed stringent measures in ports, international marinas, and the airport. However, Cuba allowed a British cruise ship to dock even if 100 of its 1,000 passengers were afflicted or suspected of having Covid-19. That was done upon the request of the British government. Cuba obliged with quarantine facilities and safe passage back home. What admirable self-confidence, to think that some of Cuba’s neighbors—the USA, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, and Brazil—have reported cases of Covid-19.
Cuba has developed a cure for the Covid-19. As you know, our half-sister has been reeling from an economic embargo of more than 50 years, thanks to the USA, and it is safe to conclude that because of that, Cuba was compelled to develop its own biotechnological industry. Although Cubans cannot afford the luxuries we have, they have the best health care and educational system that have nurtured generations since the economic lockdown. The cure is called Interferon Alfa-2b, developed by Cuban doctors and scientists through the years with the help of their peers from friendly countries like Finland. According to Cuban biotech specialist, Dr. Luis Herrera, the original formula (pardon the paucity of my vocabulary) was first developed as early as 1981 when they were combatting another deadly virus called dengue; it has proven effective against other deadly viruses that emerged afterwards.
Apparently, Cuba and China have melded their biotechnological forces since 2003 and have quietly formed a company called ChangHeber located in China. It has been producing these wonder drugs from Cuba. To think we closed the Philippine Embassy in Cuba for lack of funds! Not to be outdone, Japan is also making overtures. According to the Philippine-Cuban Friendship Association, the Cuban ambassador in Tokyo was invited to a meeting by the vice-minister of health during which the former presented a sample of Policosanal, a potent cure for ischemic cerebrovascular diseases which Cuba has been using since January, 2019. Perhaps that cruel embargo on Cuba was a blessing in disguise because they had no other choice but develop their own medicines. The biotechnological industry in that Caribbean country has taken a pivotal role in the development of its public health sector and its national economic development plan.
No hay bien que por mal no venga.