Cuba's experiences in confronting COVID-19 were presented in Australia

Canberra, 19 November 2020. - Cuba was present today at a webinar organized by the Australian National University (ANU) on the experiences of the Latin American and Caribbean region in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other Australian institutions of higher education such as the University of Notre Dame, the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales co-sponsored the event, which was also co-hosted by the ANU Centre for Mental Health Research (CMHR) and the Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies (ANCLAS), both of them attached to the ANU.

Under the title "The impact of Covid-19 on public health in Central America and the Caribbean", prestigious academics from Mexico, Costa Rica and Cuba abounded on the responses and challenges of their respective countries in the face of the global health emergency.

On behalf of Cuba, Dr Pedro Más Bermejo, Emeritus Scientific Researcher of the "Pedro Kourí" Institute of Tropical Medicine, Emeritus Member of the Cuban Academy of Sciences and Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health participated and explained the keys to the success of the Cuban experience confronting the pandemic.

In his presentation, Dr Bermejo highlighted as decisive elements in the Cuban response, the prevention strategies inherent to the Cuban public health system and its strong primary care network along with the door-to-door mass screening actions and the identification of the most vulnerable segments of population to the disease.

He also underlined the interdisciplinary integration of the national scientific community together with the government in the establishment and implementation of an integrated strategy that was further developed, based on scientific evidence and expert recommendations. Likewise, he made special mention of the development of new and innovative treatments by the Cuban bio-pharmaceutical industry and the current development of several vaccine candidates in the clinical trial phase, among which are the already known Sovereign 01 and Sovereign 02 vaccines, despite the intensification of the United States' blockade against Cuba.

The virtual seminar sessions, which will continue until December 3, will also feature the participation of specialists from other Latin American countries such as Brazil, Uruguay and Chile. It aims to serve as a reference to the international scientific community on the lessons, challenges and consequences that the current COVID-19 pandemic is leaving in the world, not only in the health and mental health field but also in the economic and social field.

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