A GROUP of Cuban doctors arrived in the province on Sunday to help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.. GCIS
A GROUP of Cuban doctors arrived in the province on Sunday to help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.. GCIS

28 Cuban doctors to be deployed around KZN to help fight Covid-19

By Mphathi Nxumalo Time of article published May 18, 2020

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Durban - A GROUP of Cuban doctors arrived in the province on Sunday to help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said the 28 doctors would be officially welcomed by the premier later in the week and they would then be deployed throughout KwaZulu-Natal.

The doctors form part of a 217-strong contingent that flew in last month to help South Africa. On their arrival, however, there were cries of unfairness about not using local doctors instead of bringing in people from outside the country.

Premier Sihle Zikalala said that they expected the whole province to be placed on level 3 lockdown soon.

He said 2.4 million screenings for Covid-19 and 59 000 tests had been conducted in KZN so far. There had been 1 498 confirmed cases and 45 deaths in the province.

eThekwini was still the provincial hot spot with 866 cases and 36 deaths. Zikalala said they had also noticed trends from other district municipalities. The uMgungundlovu municipality had the second highest cases in the province, showing that the virus had an urban profile. But this had changed as the iLembe district now had 326 cases, compared to uMgungundlovu with 64.

“This speaks to the rising cases of local-to-local transmission... While areas that were affected more were initially urban, we now note an increase in townships and still less of the increase in the rural areas,” Zikalala said.

He noted the progress that had been made in limiting the number of deaths since the outbreak began a few months ago. “There was a period when the province reported a death rate of two people a day, as it led all provinces with the numbers of deaths. We can now report that there are days when we report no deaths.”

Simelane-Zulu said they did not give out statistics that gave an account of the number of infections in various areas of a municipality because they did not want specific areas stigmatised.

“Everyone who lives in eThekwini must be careful and everyone who lives in eThekwini must understand that that district is a hot spot When you look at the clusters of infections in eThekwini, there is no way you can say one particular area is a hot spot, purely on the basis that the majority of people in eThekwini work in one city centre.

"We have found clusters to be in the working environment more than anywhere else,” Simelane-Zulu said.

She said people took the infections back home with them.

Daily News

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