Seymour: No urgency for Cuban medical assistance

Health Services Authority forensic laboratory.
Cayman Islands hospital, George Town.

Cayman is not seeking the services of Cuban medical professionals at this time since Cayman’s COVID-19 cases remain low and no one is currently hospitalised due to the virus, Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said at Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing.

“This dialogue was started and it’s most important that it actually started so, if needed, we can quickly pick up on this, but [there’s] no urgency at this point and we’re thankful to God for that,” Seymour said in response to queries from the Cayman Compass on the status of the discussions with the Cuban government on the issue.

According to news agency Prensa Latina, more than 1,450 Cuban doctors are working in 22 countries fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The doctors are part of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade, which was founded by former President Fidel Castro in 2005.

A contingent of 217 doctors and nurses was sent off to South Africa in a most recent dispatch.

In the early stages of Cayman’s COVID-19 response, Seymour had indicated that talks had been started with the Cuban government to secure from 50 to 100 Cuban medical professionals to join Cayman’s healthcare workers in the battle against the virus.

Seymour said on Wednesday that the Cuban government has been trying to assist other more urgent requests ahead of Cayman. He said the Cayman government is “hopeful” the encouraging trend in local COVID-19 cases will continue, and that “we won’t need the additional outside medical assistance”.

Cayman’s currently has 93 positive cases, with seven new cases announced Thursday afternoon out of 449 results.

Six of the new cases were travellers who arrived on recent evacuation flights and one is a known contact of a previously reported positive case, according to a brief statement from Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee.

“These people remain in isolation,” he said.

A total of 54 of Cayman’s cases have been classified as fully recovered.

As of Wednesday, no one was hospitalised with coronavirus symptoms, though two COVID-19 cases are inpatients at Health City Cayman Islands being treated for unrelated conditions.

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