Antigua turns to Cuba for medical supplies and health professionals

The Antigua and Barbuda government says it has made a request to Cuba for supplies of the Interferon 2B drug that boosts the immune system, allowing coronavirus patients who are very sick a chance to recover.

“The Cuban drug is in great demand at this time, as are others that are being tested on patients. Only one confirmed case of coronavirus has been detected in Antigua, and that 21-year- old patient is recovering. However, should an elderly Antiguan or Barbudan fall ill with the virus, the Cabinet is determined that all will be done to save that life. No death from coronavirus has occurred in Antigua and Barbuda,” said a statement issued following the special Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

“Should an elderly Antiguan or Barbudan fall ill with the virus, the Cabinet is determined that all will be done to save that life.”

— statement from government

It said that the Cuban doctors and nurses, who will arrive here on Thursday, are experienced in the management of infectious diseases.

“The Cuban team will be supplementing the Antigua and Barbuda teams that have been assigned to the airport and the seaport, the Margetson Ward Infectious Disease Center (IDC) and the Mount St John Medical Center.

“Screenings at the V.C. Bird International Airport will continue to be carried out by the additional doctors and nurses; and, the arriving passengers will be allowed entry if several conditions are met. The passengers must show no signs of illnesses connected to the coronavirus, and their temperatures must also be normal; the travel history of the passengers will also be enquired into by way of the cards and by questioning, in order to determine if a passenger will be quarantined or allowed entry,” the statement said.

The government said that the guidelines that have already been established and are meticulously followed have been designed by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and that “passengers who have visited certain identified countries within the past 28 days will be quarantined, regardless of nationality”.