HAVANA, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Cuba once again surpassed 1,000 COVID-19 cases in one day, reporting on Wednesday 1,006 infections and nine deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the totals to 96,760 cases and 547 deaths.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel warned via Twitter of the spread of the coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa in the country, which he said makes it necessary to apply stricter health protocols.
"The arrival in the country of new strains of the virus forced us to adjust our protocols. Scientists have determined that the presence of the variant discovered in South Africa, which can be more contagious and lethal if we are not more timely with treatment, is growing," he wrote.
Cuba has been facing a new wave of COVID-19 infections since January, as authorities have moved to regulate the closure of many public spaces, restrict mobility, and require testing and quarantine for arriving travelers.
Meanwhile, the third and final phase of clinical trials for the Cuban vaccine candidate Soberana-02 continues in Havana alongside an intervention study among health workers, while Phase II clinical trials for another vaccine candidate Soberana Plus continue in the capital.
In addition, Phase III clinical trials and an intervention trial for the vaccine candidate Abdala are being carried out in the eastern part of the country, while two other candidates, Soberana-01 and Mambisa, are at different stages of research.