Montserrat has received approval from the UK Government to allow medical professionals from Cuba to come and assist in the island’s fight to manage the spread of COVID-19 here.
In an official statement released this morning, Premier Easton Taylor-Farrell announced his government’s stimulus package to offset the economic losses and resource strain caused by the virus which was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation in early March.
The premier, who also has responsibility for international affairs and finance said he received telephone confirmation from Baroness Sugg, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development, that their request for medical assistance from Cuba was approved. The application for medical staff is being arranged through the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
The team of 32 health professionals will be coming “to support our over stretched medical staff, as we work together to fight this dreaded disease. The date for the arrival of Doctors will be announced in the coming days,” the premier stated.
Cuba has been sending doctors to Italy and other parts of the region to assist in managing the virus, which severely impacts the body’s respiratory system among other things.
He also shared that confirmation has been received from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) that a shipment of medical supplies consisting of Personal Protective Equipment and testing kits, has been shipped and is expected to arrive here shortly, with an additional shipment to follow.
The premier also expressed his “government’s gratitude to the staff at the Ministry of Health, doctors, nurses and all supporting staff who have worked tirelessly under less than ideal situations; as we work to suppress COVID -19. Thank you is in order to His Excellency the Governor for his unwavering support as we sought to acquire medical and assistance from the UK.”
The first batch of supplies will include Personal Protective Equipment and a testing machine.