Cuba reports four deaths and 405 new cases of COVID-19

HAVANA, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Cuban Ministry of Public Health reported on Saturday that in the last 24 hours, four deaths and 405 new cases of the novel coronavirus were registered in the country, in the midst of a strong rebound in infections.

According to the ministry, the total number of cases rose to 17,501 and the number of deaths to 166.

"It is a gloomy day that shows that this is a dangerous disease, especially when there is an increase in cases within risk groups," said the ministry's national director of epidemiology, Francisco Duran.

"After several days with 500 cases a day, we managed to drop to just over 400, but this is still a very high number that shows the transmission we have in the country," he said.

The official explained that 27 of the new registered cases are imported and that the highest number of cases was reported in the province of Havana.

Faced with the increase in cases, the government decided this week to establish the limited autochthonous transmission phase in several provinces and to continue to require all travelers arriving from abroad to submit a negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours of their flight.

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