Said doctors will also train local health care professionals to better perform duties
With some 22 Cuban medical professionals arriving in VI to help with the COVID-19 fight, Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) said their primary mission is to help the Territory eliminate risks of COVID-19 community spread.
Currently, the VI has no active reported cases of COVID-19; however, the Sister Island of Jost van Dyke was placed on one week of lockdown on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, following reports that a St Vincent national who lived on the island tested positive for COVID-19 on returning to her country.
Docs will train local healthcare professionals - Hon Malone
According to Hon Malone, "The question asked is why do we need the Cuban doctors for instance, for the very reason that we have here... we want to make sure that we reduce any risk of community spread."
Hon Malone was at the time speaking during a call-in segment on the Tuesday, July 21, 2020, edition of GIS' 'Public Eye'.
'We want to make sure that the doctors, they will help to also train while they perform their duties," he said while announcing that the Cuban doctors will also be able to help with implementing health protocols.
According to Hon Malone, eliminating risks will help to discontinue lockdown protocols which have been costing the Territory millions of dollars.
Eliminating community spread high on the agenda
He said that until vaccines and different types of medications are found, the VI will be fighting COVID-19 through protocols that limit the risks of community spread.
Hon Malone reminded that the Territory is tourism based, with passengers coming from all over the world, including from high-risk countries like the USA, Italy and the UK.
"The fact is that once you get a plane... you can move from zero confirmed cases to where you have a planeload full of folks introduced into the society and changes it into full lockdown immediately."