After their 14-day quarantine is over, the Cuban medical team now on island, will be providing a range of services to enhance Montserrat’s health care.
A 13-person team of medical practitioners arrived Tuesday and comprises eight nurses and five doctors. Health officials noted that the island currently has quite a few nursing vacancies and the additional support is needed. Two of the nurses are intensive care specialists and will assist with Montserrat’s COVID-19 response.
The ministry of Health recently announced two new cases of the virus on island, both from asymptomatic patients.
The five doctors include an internist, an OBGYN, an anesthetist and a pediatrician. The OBGYN and pediatrician will work at the hospital and in district clinics. Several women’s health clinics are to be scheduled, said the Permanent Secretary of Health Camille Gerald.
The medical team is to be on island for three months, however the cooperation agreement signed with the Government of Montserrat and Cuba allows for an extension of their assistance if necessary, said PS Gerald.
Health officials said the same members of staff have been working throughout Montserrat’s management of the pandemic over the past six months and they need time off. The team will fill some vacancies temporarily and they will help the island prepare for importation of other cases now that there is increased movement across borders.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sharra Greenaway-Duberry said COVID-19 is going to be around for a while and that the island now has isolation facilities, testing and now the Cubans are adding the human capacity to manage cases. She added that other nations have seen second and third waves of the virus and the island needs to be prepared as residents are returning. Currently, the island’s quarantine numbers are high as once the returnee goes into a home, everyone in the house must be quarantined.
Officials said that many of the Montserratians returning are coming from countries with high numbers of active COVID-19 cases, this means the island must have things in place to ensure we can manage an outbreak.