Hope for Italy As 52 Cuban Doctors, Nurses Arrive With Pomp

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Holding the Cuban flag and wearing surgical masks, Cuban doctors arrived in Italy on Sunday (March 22).

The group of 36 doctors, 15 nurses and a logistics expert have been deployed to help with the coronavirus, at the request of the worst affected region, Lombardy.

Italy has been one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus with over 5,400 deaths – a death toll that has now surpassed China’s.

Communist-run Cuba – has one of the highest ratios of physicians per capita worldwide, its doctors have been on the front lines in man crises including the fight against cholera in Haiti and against Ebola in West Africa.

But this – is their first mission in Cuba’s so-called ‘medical diplomacy’ to Italy.

Leader of the group, Carlos Perez Diaz, said the medical brigade was ready to support the people of Italy.

Diaz said: “Our government sent us here to bring our solidarity here.”

Aware of the long days ahead of them, one of the doctors already in Italy, Gracilliano Diaz said there was no doubt it would be a challenge to stop the spread of the virus. “We’re all afraid, but there is revolutionary work to do. Fear can be controlled and put to the side,” he said.

“Whoever says that he isn’t afraid is a superhero and we are not superheroes; we are revolutionary doctors,” Diaz added.

This is the sixth medical brigade Cuba has sent in recent days “armies of white robes” have also been sent to countries including Jamaica, Venezuela and others.

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'Dotun Akintomide's journalism works intersect business, environment, politics and developmental issues. Among a number of local and international publications, his work has appeared in the New York Times. He's a winner of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Award. Currently, the Online Editor at The New Diplomat, Akintomide has produced reports that uniquely spoke to Nigeria's experience on Climate Change issues. When Akintomide is not writing, volunteering or working on a media project, you can find him seeing beautiful sites like the sandy beaches that bedecked the Lagos coastline.

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