Mbabane: The Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi has come out to clear the air on the 20 Cuban doctors who arrived in the country purportedly for COVID-19 saying they were here only as a matter of routine.
In their official Facebook page the Embassy of Cuba in South Africa had posted on March 30, that the 20 doctors had been deployed in Nhlangano, Hlatikhulu and Mankayane Government Hospitals specifically to monitor the COVID-19 cases.
Nkosi told this publication that Cuba has been sending doctors to the country for the past 14 years to assist in the local hospitals in the various areas of medical disciplines, not just COVID-19. “Yes we do have a group of 20 Cuban doctors in the country but as a matter of routine,” said Nkosi.
The doctors also come to other African countries including South Africa. Others are Italy, Jamaica, Venezuela, Suriname and Grenada where they go on to assist in curbing the spread of the new coronavirus called COVID-19.
The report on the Cuban doctors surfaced in the midst of misleading information circulating on social networks to the effect that the King was not in good health, which led to government clearing the air and issuing an official statement saying the King was well and in good health, warning against inaccurate information which violates the COVID-19 regulations.
Some of the names of the doctors were given as Leonilla Cuellar, Dalin Camacho, Aglusty Beltran and Rosemary Fuentes to name but a few. Expectations were that they had rather be deployed at the Lubombo Referral Hospital which is the center of admission for COVID-19 patients.
No Cuban doctors
Some hospitals revealed that they knew not of Cuban doctors at their places of work. They only spoke of the regular doctors that had been permanently employed by government and deployed to work at the hospitals.
CNN reported that Cuba is offering to send doctors to more countries struggling with the coronavirus. Cuba is a communist country located in the Caribbean Sea, approximately 90 miles south of Florida. It is inhabited by over 11 million people. As at April 19, 2020 the Cuba has recorded 814 cases with 24 deaths and 151 recoveries. Cuba is still subject to a Cold War era from the United States, its largest neighbor, which restricts exports including medical supplies.
Currently, Eswatini has recorded 19 confirmed cases with eight recoveries and one death. During a recent press briefing held at the cabinet offices the minister of health revealed that the country is monitoring some cases which show no travel history hence raises concern of potential local transmission. All along, cases were largely from South Africa. The Minister assured the nation that the government is working tirelessly to curb the spread of the virus with a number of hospitals going through a facelift all to accommodate possible cases. The capacity of the laboratory at the Mbabane Government Hospital has been extended and fitted with testing facilities, and is now open to attend to COVID-19 cases.