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COVID-19: 140 Cuban medical professionals arrive in Jamaica

One hundred and forty medical professionals arrived into the country on Saturday from Cuba to further bolster Jamaica’s response to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The practitioners arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston at 11:30 a.m.

Health Minister Christopher Tufton, who was at the airport to welcome the group said he was encouraged by the move.

“Thank you, Cuba for your quick response to our request for support against COVID-19! Thanks to the local health team who coordinated to get this mission here in just over a month,” said the minister.

“We are here to support the Jamaican people thank you so much for being here with us,” said a senior spokesperson for the group of health officials who arrived at the airport to loud applause.

Officials from the Ministry of Health and Wellness said the medical practitioners are expected to get to work in a matter of weeks as the Cuban professionals will be quarantined for 14 days and then deployed across Hospitals Island wide.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness earlier this week announced that from March 21 at 11.59 pm the country’s air and seaports will be closed to incoming traffic for two weeks.

Other restrictions announced by the government include closing bars and restaurants closures, work from home policy for non-essential workers, and gatherings limited to less than 20 people.

Global cases of the coronavirus pandemic have reached almost 290,000, and deaths worldwide have reached almost 12,000.