Authorities in Sicily asked the Cuban Government to send around 60 healthcare workers, including nurses and doctors, to the island as hospitals there are struggling with a shortage of medical personnel. At the same time, it faces a second wave of coronavirus.
The Italian embassy in Cuba received this request last week, and the request referred to nurses, anaesthetists, intensive care specialists, resuscitators, virologists and pneumologists.
Cuban medical teams landed in the worst-hit regions of Italy during March and April this year, including Piedmont and Lombardy, to replace Italian professionals who were overworked.
Other medical brigades are fanning out across the world to fight coronavirus in 20 other countries.
Renato Costa, Sicily’s Covid-19 emergency commissioner, said that the Cuban Government has teams of nurses and doctors who are willing to travel to other countries to work, and we asked for their help’.
He said that they know that in recent weeks other regions in Italy have asked Cuban medical professionals too and they hope that they would come to Sicily first.
He added that he is in contact with the embassy, which has welcomed their request.
Rome designated Sicily as an “orange zone”, on 4th November at high risk, because of the lack of beds in intensive care units and other health facilities.
There were 48 new deaths in Sicily on Tuesday; which is the highest daily toll for the region since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second wave of COVID exposed a shortage of intensive care staff in Italy.
Many medics chose to take early retirement or to leave the profession after the trauma which they experienced in the spring.
Doctors’ federation of Italy said that 27 medics lost their lives within the last ten days, while 27,000 health workers were infected with COVID-19 over the past month.