HAVANA – Cuban President Raul Castro called for more discipline, “forceful” action against those who refuse to do anything, and “perseverance” in the hygiene campaign undertaken on the island to combat the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus and other diseases, official media reported Monday.
“This can’t be just another campaign,” Raul Castro said during the meeting he presided over at the Public Health Ministry to analyze the measures being applied throughout the country to stop the spread of illnesses transmitted by mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, the daily Granma said Monday.
At the meeting with health authorities, the government, the ruling Communist Party and the armed forces, Cuba’s president said it is “vital to check that everything is being done well, in a trustworthy and timely manner.”
He also described as “chronic” the situation of garbage collection in Havana, where some 23,000 cubic meters (810,000 cubic feet) of trash is created daily, of which some 6,300 (222,000) are left in the streets due to the lack of garbage trucks.
Castro ordered the country to give a “definitive solution” to this problem, “without improvisation” and with “discipline” as to working hours and the reparation and maintenance of equipment used for that service in the nation’s capital.
For several weeks, Cuba has been developing an action program that includes the mobilizing of 9,000 troops of the armed forces and 200 police to carry out fumigations and inspections in homes and workplaces to deal with the Zika virus, dengue and Chikungunya.
Health authorities have said through local media that the purpose of the plan is to combat the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, both carriers of these diseases, and both present on various parts of the island.