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Cuba supports WHO in fighting COVID-19 pandemic: health minister

   Xinhua   09:05, May 20, 2020

HAVANA, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Cuba supports the World Health Organization (WHO) in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuban Minister of Public Health Jose Angel Portal said on Monday.

"No country can tackle the coronavirus pandemic by itself. A coordinated global response is required in keeping with principles of solidarity, unity and cooperation," Portal said at the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) via video link in Havana. "We are open to share our scientific knowledge and experience in confronting the virus."

Cuba has so far sent 2,300 health professionals from its Henry Reeve medical contingent to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic in 24 countries.

The WHA is the decision-making body of the WHO. The 73rd session of the WHA, scheduled from Monday to Tuesday, is held via video link due to the impact of the current pandemic.

According to the WHO, the agenda of the 73rd session was condensed to cover only essential issues, such as COVID-19 and the selection of executive board members.

Earlier on Monday, Francisco Duran, national director of epidemiology at the Cuban Ministry of Public Health, noted the importance of the 73rd session of the WHA, saying that the U.S. blockade against Cuba hinders medical supplies to the island.

Cuba has registered a total of 1,881 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 79 related deaths. New cases fell to fewer than 25 per day last week from a peak of nearly 70 in early May.

The first COVID-19 cases were reported in Cuba on March 11.