A delegation of 37 Cuban doctors and 15 nurses arrived at Milan Malpensa airport on Sunday to offer a helping hand to the overloading Italian healthcare system which is currently buried under the weight of the coronavirus outbreak.
Upon arrival, the delegation was greeted by Vice President of the Lombardy region Fabrizio Sala. “Thank you to the ambassador, thanks to the consulate, thanks to the Cuban government for this action that they have taken to help us,” he stated outside the arrivals terminal.
The delegation arrived in Lombardy, the epicentre of the Italian COVID-19 outbreak. The Cuban team of doctors and nurses will move on to offer a hand in the new hospital that is being built in Bergamo, the province most affected by the virus.
Cuban Ambassador to Italy Jose Carlos Rodriguez Ruiz was also at Malpensa to greet his fellow Cubans. “They are here to work alongside the good doctors and nurses of Italy that have been working everyday day to fight COVID. We will do it with all the humility, every one together with everything they have,” he stated.
“We are here with a brigade of 52 aid workers, doctors and nurses, who have experience in disaster situations. They have been involved with Ebola in West Africa and some were in involved in other natural disasters such as earthquakes,” said Carlos Ricardo Perez Diaz, one of the leading Cuban doctors in the team of arrivals.
“How long will we stay? The amount of time that the authorities believe we can offer help. We came with a clear idea that we are here to help and we will stay as long as is necessary,” Carlos went on to say.
Italy is not the only country that will receive help from the Cuban health authorities. The Ministry of Public Health of Cuba has made it known that they are sending 1,450 medical personnel to 36 countries to help the world fight with the coronavirus outbreak.
Italy has been Europe’s worst-hit country by the COVID-19 outbreak, the country has reported over 59,000 confirmed cases and 5,476 deaths thus far.