140 Cuban healthcare professionals arrive in Ja to help in COVID-19 fight

Health Minister Dr Christoper Tufton addresses healthcare professionals at the Norman Manley International Airport Saturday (March 21). Looking on (at left) is Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica Ines Fors Fernandez.

One hundred and forty healthcare professionals from Cuba arrived in the island on Saturday (March 21) to help bolster Jamaica’s healthcare system in the battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

They arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, hours before the airport was set to close to the public at 11:59 Saturday night.

The group was met at the airport by Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton and other health officials from Jamaica as well as Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica Ines Fors Fernandez.

Among the group from Cuba are 90 nurses 46 doctors and four therapists. They will be quarantined for 14 days before taking up duties.

“I want to, of course, express my absolute appreciation to the Cuban Government and people for this quick turnaround time that has allowed us to have the team arrive in such a short time,” Tufton told reporters at the airport. The minister added that he made the request for assistance from Cuba about a month ago.

Tufton reminded that Jamaica has had a longstanding relation with the Cuba. “What you are seeing here today is an extension of that longstanding relationship,” he added.

He told BUZZ: “One of the big challenges we have is sufficient healthcare professionals to do the work. The fact that we have 140 healthcare professionals…is critical because we need them to help manage patients so that’s really what is very, very important about it.”