Information Officer II
Dept. of Information & Public Relations
Telephone: 468- 2740
The team of medical professionals from the Republic of Cuba have commenced their mission having tested negative for COVID-19.
The medical team of professionals who arrived in the Territory on Saturday, July 25 to assist with providing medical services was quarantined for 14 days as is the protocol for persons entering the Virgin Islands.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie said, “The team is now going through orientation and will join healthcare professionals at the BVI Health Services Authority to augment medical services and further strengthen the Territory’s resolve in the fight against COVID-19.”
This team of 22 medical professionals includes internist doctors, emergency response doctors, intensive care specialist and nurses and those trained in infectious diseases.
Premier Fahie explained that the Government continues to move forward in a phased approach with the restricted border re-opening. “We anticipate that the addition of the medical professionals to the team will assist the Territory in opening up with a greater sense of confidence in the fact that adequate specialised treatment capacity will now be available in the Territory.”
The Premier said that the Virgin Islands has a long history of referring persons with serious medical conditions overseas for treatment. However, in the COVID-19 era, he said that is important to re-think the added risk to BVI patients as they travel abroad for treatment, to places where the spread of the disease is on the rise.
“We have long been aware that Cuba is a centre for excellence in treating various diseases, and has been a partner to many countries in the region in the area of healthcare,” Premier Fahie said. He added, “This is indeed an historic moment for the Territory as it also provides the opportunity for advanced medical training for the BVI Health Services team. This is an important milestone in the history of the Territory, not only in our healthcare but in our capacity building.”
The Territory’s leader said that he is thankful to the Republic of Cuba for responding to the request of the Government of the Virgin Islands by providing the team of professionals at this time and has invited the community to join him in extending a warm BVI welcome to the team who will spend three months in the Territory.
“The BVI is pleased that its request was honored by the Republic of Cuba in a spirit of humanitarianism and solidarity with the people of the Virgin Islands,” Premier Fahie added.
The Virgin Islands is the second Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom to receive a Cuban medical team to assist with efforts in the fight against COVID-19.
The Republic of Cuba has had a long history of supporting countries in times of disaster and managing with infectious diseases. In 2014, concerns over the spread of Ebola threatened the world; the Territory in collaboration with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States was able to send personnel from the Ministry of Health to Cuba for training.
Photo 1:1 (L-R) Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, team of Cuban Medical Professionals and Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Carvin Malone.