Sábado, 20 de Abril de 2019
Última actualización: 20:19 CEST

Government underreporting cases of zika, say doctors

Fumigation in Havana.

Four doctors at the general teaching hospitals in Lawton and 30 de noviembre, in the municipality of 10 de octubre, and at the Abel Santamaría and Héroes de Girón medical facilities in El Cerro, told DIARIO DE CUBA that there are more cases of zika in Havana that those than the Government is officially announcing.

A lab technician at the Hospital Hermanos Ameijeiras confirmed this observation.

All the professionals asked that their names not be disclosed, due to their fears of retaliation. They said that they had strict orders from the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) to not offer information to any media outlets, in order to "disturb" the population.

They also declined to cite figures, and did not clarify whether they have received instructions to cover up  cases of zika under diagnoses of other diseases, as citizens from Cerro and Lawton suspect.

“They are diagnosing other diseases to keep from recognizing that it is really zika, because the number of those infected is high," said a resident in the former municipality.

Fumigators from Arroyo Naranjo, Cerro, La Habana Vieja (Old Havana) and Centro Habana also expressed concern, mainly regarding the situation in Lawton and El Cerro, but said they had received no orders to increase fumigation.

Some residents in La Habana Vieja and Centro Habana believed that the purported concealment was related to the rise of tourism.

Both doctors and citizens indicated that there has been a decrease in preventive fumigation, which they considered dangerous, considering the regular overflows of waste and both potable and wastewater.

“In no case should fumigation take place after outbreaks are reported, but always in a preventive way,” a doctor said.