(CMR) More Cubans could attempt to flee their country as they are facing a dengue outbreak amid constant blackouts and a food shortage.
The government said mosquito infestation levels on the island are the worst in the past 15 years, which means the probability of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue is more likely.
On Tuesday, Cuban health authorities said they had confirmed 3,036 cases of dengue so far this year. However, most people with symptoms, such as fever, vomiting or a rash, do not get tested as the health system also lacks testing supplies, Miami Herald reported.
In the first week of July, officials identified 14,256 people with fever, a 42% increase in suspected dengue cases compared to the previous week. Official figures, however, might not reveal the true extent of the epidemic, for which government officials are giving differing statistics, according to the Herald.
Cuba’s Minister of Health, José Angel Portal Miranda, said last week there was dengue transmission in eight provinces: Pinar del Río, Havana, Matanzas, Villa Clara, Camagüey, Las Tunas, Holguín and Guantánamo. But videos shared on social media suggest the disease is also present in other provinces.
Meantime, as the government tries to boost recovery, it has taken the unprecedented step of authorizing foreign investment in its emerging private sector. Economy Minister and Vice President Alejandro Gil also revealed that authorities would cut custom fees and lift restrictions on some goods travelers can bring to the island.