Cuba’s praised health system straining under COVID cases

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Cuba’s praised health system straining under COVID cases

Cuba’s vaunted public health system, which boasts more doctors per capita than any other country, has been pushed to the brink in recent months by the arrival of the coronavirus Delta variant.

In a country long left relatively unscathed by the global pandemic, doctors are now battling to get their hands on oxygen and drugs, and patients can wait up to 24 hours for a hospital bed.

Despite having rolled out its own, home-grown COVID-19 vaccines — Latin America’s first — Cuba has seen infections sky-rocket since July, especially in remote parts of the country, and deaths have soared too.

Of the 5,300 coronavirus deaths recorded on the communist island of 11.2 million inhabitants since the outbreak started, nearly half were in the last month alone, as were almost a third of all reported cases.