HAVANA, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Cuba registered 1,026 cases and 12 deaths from COVID-19, the highest daily death toll since the disease appeared in the country last year, the Ministry of Public Health reported on Saturday.
According to the ministry, the total number of cases has reached 92,474 while the death toll has climbed to 512.
The ministry's national director of hygiene and epidemiology, Francisco Duran, explained that 29 patients were currently hospitalized in critical condition and 35 were in serious condition.
Havana continues to be the epicenter of the disease in the country, with 366.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the highest incidence rate in the country, followed by the provinces of Matanzas and Sancti Spiritus.
Cuba has been battling a new wave since January, and in response, authorities have increased restrictions, including the isolation of travelers arriving to the country and limiting or banning flights from some countries.
In Havana, the third and final phase of trials continues for the Cuban vaccine candidate Soberana-02, and in eastern Cuba, another vaccine candidate Abdala is also continuing phase three trials.
Phase two clinical trials of the Cuban vaccine candidate Soberana Plus will begin in the next few days with the participation of 450 volunteers between 19 and 80 years old with a history of mild to moderate COVID-19 or asymptomatic infection.
Two other Cuban vaccine candidates, Soberana-01 and Mambisa, are in different phases of research.