Cuba may have found a cure for COVID-19. On March 2, the island instituted the Novel Coronavirus Plan for Prevention and Control, which regulates and protects the country’s borders to ensure that there is not an influx of travelers with COVID-19.
Much like the African country of Mali, Cuba has been extremely proactive in the handling of the outbreak and the country claims to have successfully treated patients with the virus with the Cuban antiviral Interferón Alpha 2B Recombinant (IFNrec).
The island has confirmed 11 cases of COVID-19 and one death.
The drug is produced at the Chinese-Cuban ChangHeber factory in China’s Jilin province and has been since January 25. The drug is also used against HIV viral infection, the human papillomavirus and hepatitis types B and C as well as some forms of cancer.
Several Caribbean countries have requested Cuba’s assistance including Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. They are asking Cuba to send them medical personnel, as well as help them to build an adequate infrastructure and a plan to treat the people infected with the coronavirus.
South American countries Panama and Venezuela, have also received IFNrec from Cuba to treat patients with symptoms of COVID-19.
“Cuban medical personnel could help countries with poor health care infrastructure do systematic testing and set up emergency facilities to treat patients,” said William LeoGrande, a Cuba expert at American University, told the People’s Dispatch. “When a vaccine becomes available, they could help plan and carry out mass vaccinations – something that’s done routinely in Cuba.”
The United States has been working on a COVID-19 vaccine with little success. But as Cuba continues to treat patients both at home and abroad in Asia successfully, is it not time for the U.S. to ask Cuba for a helping hand?