By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Mon. Aug. 30, 2021: Seventy-seven COVID-19 deaths were registered in one Caribbean island Sunday as the island continued to lead the Caribbean with more deaths and new cases from the deadly virus.
Cuba reported the new deaths as its death tally reached a whopping 5,144. Authorities also reported 6,277 new infections in one day to send its total infection cases to 640,438.
Island wide, the country now has 38,448 active cases as it faces also an oxygen crisis.
The spike led Cuba to also use the Sinopharm vaccine of its Communist-run ally China in its bid to battle one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world.
Health authorities say they were going to apply two doses of Sinopharm combined with a Cuban booster in the central province of Cienfuegos from Sunday.
The efficacy of the vaccine combo is above 90%, according to the outlet, without detailing where the data came from or whether Cuba’s drug regulator had authorized the use of the Chinese vaccine. The World Health Organization gave emergency approval to the Sinopharm shot in May.
“It seems obvious the decision to apply Sinopharm in Cienfuegos is associated to the limited availability of Cuban vaccines and the urgency caused by the explosion of cases,” said Brazil-based Cuban virologist Amilcar Perez Riverol.
The health ministry had said in May the plan was to have vaccinated 70% of the population by August but had so far only reached around 30%, said Perez Riverol, who has become a guru on Cuban COVID-19 data analysis, on Facebook.
The outbreak comes amid a shortage of basic goods including medicine that has fueled anger at the government, leading to unprecedented nationwide protests last month.