Government explores COVID-19 support from Cuba and South Korea

The Cayman Islands government has reached out to Cuba and South Korea in a bid to improve medical capacity as it looks beyond the UK for support in the fight against coronavirus.

Public Health England has already assisted by providing a laboratory specialist and other medical professionals for training and technical advice. In addition, an air bridge from the UK promises to establish a secure flow of supplies from London.

Photo: Alvaro Serey

However, Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said on Monday the Cayman Islands government is also working to connect with Cuba about supplying medical staff.

“Cuba is one of the places that we have found interesting in sourcing doctors [and nurses] from,” Seymour said.

“We have actually contacted the Cuban ambassador of Jamaica and they put us on to some of the contacts, so the discussion is going on,” he added.

Cuba has already supplied doctors to Italy, Belize, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Haiti, Saint Lucia, Grenada and Dominica to help fight COVID-19.

Governor Martyn Roper said he has also been in contact with the British Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, regarding testing equipment.

“All of us are heavily engaged behind the scenes now in trying to get us into a much better position on testing, and indeed in the last couple of days we have been pursuing an avenue through South Korea,” the governor said on Monday.

He said a company had been identified that appeared promising in its ability to supply large quantities of testing equipment and materials.

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