You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Cuban doctors arrive to help South Africa fight coronavirus

Social Issues

AP  |  Johannesburg 

More than 200 doctors from Cuba have arrived in South Africa to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The doctors, including community health and infectious disease specialists, arrived early Monday morning and were welcomed by military and health authorities.

South Africa requested assistance from the Cuban government, which is sending more than 1,000 doctors to 22 countries, including Togo, Cap Verde and Angola in Africa.

South Africa has reported the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in Africa, with at least 4,546 cases and 87 deaths.

Some of the Cuban doctors have been "in the frontline of fighting other outbreaks in the world such as cholera in Haiti in 2010, and Ebola in West Africa in 2013, said South African health minister Zweli Mkhize, Cuba's government supported the African National Congress in its fight against South Africa's apartheid system of racist minority rule.

Now the ANC is South Africa's ruling party and has good relations with Cuba.

South Africa's first black president Nelson Mandela was known to be close to former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

The two countries cooperate in the health sector, with hundreds of South African medical students studying through scholarships in Cuba.

The Cuban medical personnel will stay in a two-week quarantine before starting work.

They have arrived as South Africa is increasing community testing, especially in poor, crowded neighbourhoods.

In the economic hub of Gauteng province, which includes South Africa's largest city Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria, mass screening and testing is scheduled to take place throughout the week.

The screening and testing will also concentrate on the Western Cape province, which includes the city of Cape Town and which has largest number of COVID-19 cases.

South Africa has conducted nearly 170,000 tests. The country has 28,000 experienced community health workers who track contacts of people who test positive to help contain the spread of the disease.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, April 27 2020. 17:22 IST