As Cuba Struggles with COVID-19, Florida Worries

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Cuba appears to be struggling to contain the coronavirus. That has people calling for a complete suspension of flights that are coming here from there.

Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t just worried about the New Yorkers traveling to Florida. He’s also worried about Cubans and Cuban-Americans traveling back and forth to the island nation.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez feels the same way.

Reports out of Cuba indicate evidence of coronavirus expanding across the nation.

The worry is sanitation outside of the tourist areas in Havana. Water is available only three or so times a week, and you can’t wash hands without water.

“When you see people getting water out of a hose in the middle of the street in Havana, I would say that’s not the best sanitation,” said Dr. Andy Gomez, a Cuba scholar.

With 119 new coronavirus infections, three deaths and 2,000 hospitalized, if the numbers are accurate, a potential spread from poor sanitation is a real worry in South Florida.

“With all the precautions we are taking, the mayor of Miami-Dade, Carlos Gimenez, the governor of the state of Florida, Ron DeSantis, have asked the president of the United States to immediately stop flights to Havana.

we still have people traveling back and forth. I just talked to a couple of people the other day that arrived this week from Cuba. It is a major health problem for our community,” Gomez said. “I don’t understand why Washington has not canceled, since you know the only flights now are to Havana, these fights back and forth. Believe it or not, there are still tourists going to Cuba. And Cuba reported that the majority of those individuals on the island that have been infected by COVID-19 were tourists.”

Cubans are already facing shortages of food and medicine. The schools are locked down. And now locals here want flights shut down.

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