Caribbean invasion: Cuba confirms three imported cases of COVID-19

The Republic of Cuba is the latest Caribbean country to confirm infection by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Wednesday (March 11), as health officials said three Italian tourists were isolated and tested.

According to a statement from the Cuban Ministry of Health, the tourists arrived in the island on Monday, March 9, and were staying at a hostel in Trinidad, a city east of the capital Havana.

Having entered the country through the international airport in Havana, the Italians had presented respiratory symptoms and were taken to a hospital on Tuesday, March 10.

The tourists were all in isolation at the Pedro Kourí Tropical Medicine Institute in Havana, where the tests were carried out.

The ministry, in its statement, further explained that the three patients were recovering favourably with another Italian having been tested. Those tests were confirmed negative for COVID-19.

Seven Cubans who had been identified as contacts are being observed under quarantine conditions at a hospital in the Sancti Spiritus province. They are yet to manifest any symptoms.

Cuba’s imported cases bring the Caribbean total to 18 following prior confirmations in the Dominican Republic; French territories St Martin, Saint Barthélemy, Martinique and French Guiana; Puerto Rico; Jamaica; Guyana; and St Vincent.