Report from our colleague in Venezuela
The following is a brief message from Milton Pena, a distinguished retired orthopaedic surgeon and NHS whistle-blower who has featured in the The WORD previously. At 72 he has been doing voluntary work and helping train young Venezuelan doctors for 3 months now.
Milton Pena April 6 2020
‘The situation in Acarigua/Azaure #1 is that of the whole country; calm and acceptance of the quarantine.
EVERYONE uses a mask and takes precautions. There is no shortage of food or essentials.
There have been few deaths and only a few cases diagnosed of Covid – 19.
As the country has been under an economic blockade for four years it has created means of distribution of food, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, house by house. This has helped tremendously.
There are Centres of Diagnostic Integrals everywhere which has allowed control of the pandemic. They have been (largely) run by Cuban doctors who are doing a great job.’
- Two cities under 200 miles west and inland of the capital Caracas’
- Latest figures 7 deaths out of 166 recorded cases.
- It has been reported that Cuban medical staff are currently helping in 14 countries world wide.
The Cuban medics and doctors generally work in poorer countries, but the world woke up in admiration when they sent out a team of 52 medics to help in Italy and allowed the British cruise ship MS Braemar to dock when it had been turned away from the US and other countries.
It prompted Dominic Raab, the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, to thank the Cuban government for its assistance. In a ministerial statement in Parliament stating that he had spoken to Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and that “we are very grateful to the Cuban government for swiftly enabling this operation and for their close co-operation to make sure it could be successful.”
The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs said of its decision: “These are times of solidarity, of understanding health as a human right, of reinforcing international co-operation to face our common challenges, values that are inherent in the humanistic practice of the Revolution and of our people.”
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