In helping contain the spread of the coronavirus, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has deployed a number of Cuban doctors to two of the Eastern Cape’s Covid-19 hotspots.
The 20 Cuban deployed medical specialists are a part of a group that arrived in the country in April to help the country’s fight against the coronavirus. Zweli Mkhize dismissed the rumours that any of the Cuban doctors had tested positive, he mentioned that the news wasn’t true.
Mkhize went on to tell the press during a briefing that the 217 Spanish speaking doctors are currently in quarantine at a SA National Defence Force facility, where they also attend English classes.
“Their medical programme in Cuba is conducted in Spanish, so we have made an intervention by introducing English classes.”
The minister has also visited most parts of the country to ensure that good medical attention is given to patients and victims of the coronavirus pandemic. After the meeting he had with Premier Oscar Mabuyane and Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba, Mkhize made a stop at Cecilia Makhiwane Hospital in Mdantsane to observe the work there.
Mkhize had the chance to view a 43 bed Covid-19 ward. It was however created to ease the burden on existing wards and was designed for the quarantine of coronavirus patients. However, the minister also went on to warn people to minimise travelling and that it was the major concern since the rate of infected people came through people who travelled.
“After a long meeting with the premier and senior government officials, it was brought to my attention that the proximity of the two provinces was a major cause behind the rapid spread of infection. It is an issue that we are going to resolve as national government.
The minister also highlighted that the Eastern Cape had also hired 800 more nurses to double its efforts of testing and screening for the virus. One million people had been screened in the province and eight million nationally.
“We would like to pay tribute to our healthcare workers and the nurses who are at the frontline in this fight against the virus. I must say it is really encouraging to see enthusiasm and passion. Also, to the public, I would like to say this is a community fight. I want to emphasise the use of masks and social distance,” said Mkhize.