A new Cuban medical team, bearing the name of a war hero, is set to work on the COVID-19 frontline after arriving in Barbados last Friday, according to Cuban officials.
The group of 15 specialists – called the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade – is currently in quarantine having arrived with negative PCR tests carried out 72 hours before leaving Havana.
The 11 doctors and four laboratory specialists will complete the contingent of the brigade of 98 nurses and a doctor, which has been here since April 5 to support efforts to confront the pandemic.
They were received at the airport tarmac upon arrival by David Comissiong, Ambassador to CARICOM and the Association of Caribbean States; the Director of CARICOM and Caribbean Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sandra Gittens; the directors of medicine and human resources of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital; the chief of the Henry Reeve Brigade in Barbados Dr Daymarelis Ortega and Cuban Ambassador Sergio Jorge Pastrana.
The chief doctor of the brigade and the 98 nurses who have been working already for nine months throughout the health system are now joined by epidemiologists, respiratory illness specialists, anesthesiologists, physiotherapists and adult and pediatric intensive care specialists who will work alongside them.
Four laboratory specialists are to compliment the staff at the Best-Dos Santos Public health laboratory which performs PCR tests in real-time.
Like the first group that arrived in Barbados in April of last year, the new team members are slated to visit the Monument to the Martyrs of Barbados at Paynes Bay Beach, which commemorates the bombing of a Cuban airliner by US-backed terrorists in October 1976 which killed all 73 passengers and crew.
The brigade is named for Henry Reeve, an American who fought in the first of Cuba’s War of Independence from 1868 and rose to the rank of Brigadier General. (SD)