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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Cuba´s aid to fight pandemic recognized in USA

Washington, Mar 28 - The US magazine Newsweek today highlights Cuba's contribution to the fight against Covid-19 despite the US blockade.

Cuba uses the 'wonderful drug' to combat the new coronavirus worldwide despite Washington sanctions, notes a comprehensive article signed by Tom O'Connor , which values ​​the island's successes and its contribution to the world in these moments of crisis despite strict sanctions.

The drug, called Recombinant Interferon Alpha-2B ( IFNrec ), is jointly developed by scientists from Cuba and China, where the outbreak of Covid-19 first emerged late last year, the publication.

The use of Recombinant Interferon Alpha-2B "prevents aggravation and complications in patients who reach this stage, which can ultimately result in death," Cuban biotechnology expert Luis Herrera Martínez told the publication.

A recent Yale University Press Blog article, written by Helen Yaffe of Glasgow University, called the Cuban drug a potential 'wonder drug' against the new coronavirus.

Yaffe told Newsweek that he knew of at least 15 countries that contacted Cuba to request the drug, along with "local mayors and hospital directors who are eager to get the Cuban antiviral to deal with the crisis." 

Recombinant Interferon Alpha-2B has not been approved to treat the pandemic, but has been shown to be effective against viruses similar to it.

However, the publication denounces, Cuba's ambitious anti - pandemic efforts are hampered by sanctions imposed by Washington for decades, which a Cuban official described to Newsweek as "the main obstacle not only in responding to major health crises like that of Covid- 19, but also for the development of the country in any area. '

Although the State Department says it will offer aid to sanctioned countries facing this new coronavirus, repeatedly mentioning Iran and North Korea, it does not mention Cuba in recent statements, Newsweek notes.

"Despite the blockade, Cuban doctors work in 59 countries around the world, 37 of which have confirmed Covid-19 cases," Herrera told Newsweek.

The disease does not yet have a true vaccine or cure, but Havana, stresses the publication, hoped to demonstrate its ability to at least alleviate health crises on an international scale.

"In addition, the world can count on more than 29,000 doctors graduated in Cuba who, after their training at the Latin American School of Medicine and other Cuban faculties, will do everything possible to combat evil," said the official.

Yaffe explained to Newsweek how 'a small Caribbean island, underdeveloped by centuries of colonialism and imperialism, and subject to punitive and extraterritorial sanctions by the United States for 60 years, has so much to offer the world.

However, he emphasizes, Washington previously rejected Havana's offers to provide assistance during national emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city of New Orleans and its environs in 2005.

The Cuban official told Newsweek that, as of Monday, "no official request for aid has been received" from the White House amid the current crisis and there were no signs of relief from sanctions, either, despite urgent requests Tuesday. by senior United Nations officials. (PL)