The Cuban brigade of medical experts brought in to help South Africa in the ongoing gruelling fight against Covid-19 on Thursday said it had completed mandatory quarantine and would now be heading to different provinces for deployment.
“We have successfully completed, in both Cuba and South Africa, the strict periods of preventive quarantine and we are all fully ready to depart for the different provinces of the country and immediately begin the difficult but noble task that has been entrusted to us,” it said in a declaration issued by the Cuban Embassy in Pretoria.
“It was a moral duty for us to immediately respond to the request for assistance that we were made to face, together with our South African brothers and sisters, this terrible virus. Just as we fought together, South Africans and Cubans, against the apartheid regime, together we will face and overcome the pandemic.”
The team of 217 Cuban medical doctors arrived in South Africa last month to bolster local healthcare workers in their efforts to flatten the coronavirus infection curve. The group was immediately quarantined in Pretoria, in line with the standard protocol for those entering the country.
On Thursday, the medical team sent out gratitude to South Africa for the warm welcome to the country.
“We are honoured to have arrived in South Africa, the glorious land of Nelson Mandela, precisely on April 27, Freedom Day, a date of such significance in the history of this beloved country, to which we are united by special and deep historical relationships of brotherhood and cooperation,” it said.
On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government would begin consultations on a proposal to ease current Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in most of the country to level 3 by the end of the month.
Ramaphosa however said those parts of South Africa with a high concentration of Covid-19 infections would remain on level 4.