A team of 140 medical professionals from Cuba arrived in Jamaica on Saturday to bolster Jamaica’s response to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak.
The Health practitioners landed at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and Christopher Tufton the Minister of Health was there to welcome the Cubans and said he was encouraged by the move.
He also thanked Cuba for the quick response to the request made by the Government. In just over a month the local health team coordinated the plan to bring the mission here, he thanked them also.
The group of health care professionals was greeted with loud applause and their spokesperson said they were here to support the Jamaican people.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness officials said the Cuban Health care professionals will start working after the 14 days that they are spending in quarantine. After that, they will be deployed across the island.
Andrew Holness Jamaica’s Prime Minister earlier announced that the country’s air and seaports would be closed to incoming traffic for two weeks from March 21 at 11:59 pm.
The cases of COVID-19 pandemic have reached approximately 290,000 and the death toll reached 12,000 around the world.
The restrictions that were announced by the government included the closing of bars and restaurants, the work from home policy for non-essential workers, and gatherings should be limited to less than 20 people. Many Jamaicans have decided to stay home.
COVID-19 Quarantine in Clarendon
The Novel Coronavirus outbreak in Jamaica looked worst when a 79-year-old Jamaican man who lived in New York City, in the USA, died after he visited the island. He had visited his relatives in Corn Piece Settlement, Clarendon, last week and the area have been quarantined since his death.
The health minister also disclosed that medical professionals who are treating patients infected with the virus and those who work in quarantine centers are now “separated from their family members for a period of time”.
He indicated that depending on the extent of their roles, the health workers who take care of COVID-19 patients are separated from the duties they did before. He said this was important as he tries to ensure that they are “not vulnerable themselves or they are not put in a position to contaminate anyone”.
Mr. Tufton also said, “We are always mindful of anyone in the line of duty who are sufficiently exposed to recommend quarantining of these individuals and it has been done. Our front-line personnel are always at risk as they carry out their duties. I think they understand because this is not the first time the health system is dealing with infectious diseases, so there is a protocol to guide this.”