Cuba sending 9 000 soldiers to fight Zika virus

2016-02-22 19:43
Soldiers set a banner that reads in Portuguese "A mosquito is not stronger than a whole country" in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Silvia Izquierdo, AP)

Soldiers set a banner that reads in Portuguese "A mosquito is not stronger than a whole country" in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Silvia Izquierdo, AP)

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Havana - Cuban President Raul Castro says he is assigning 9 000 military personnel to efforts to keep the Zika virus out of Cuba, calling on the entire country to help kill the mosquito that carries the disease.

In a front-page message on the state-run newspaper Granma on Monday, Castro says Cuba's fight to prevent the arrival of the virus has been hampered by "the inadequate technical quality" of efforts against the mosquito, insufficient work to clean up areas where the mosquito propagates and poor weather conditions.

He says 9 000 military personnel and 200 national police officials will reinforce the Public Health Ministry's efforts to spray neighbourhoods for mosquitoes and eliminate breeding spots. He says Cuba has yet to report a case of Zika, which is suspected of causing birth defects in Brazil.

Read more on:    cuba  |  zika virus

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