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Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 13, 2020 (SKNIS): The extensive preparations by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to mitigate against a local outbreak of COVID-19 included seeking the support of health professionals from the Republic of Cuba to assist the medical response team.

The National COVID-19 Task Force strategy of quarantining and testing suspected cases as well as extensively tracing their contacts has helped to flatten the curve and successfully control the first wave of the coronavirus. The twin-island federation recorded 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 14 patients officially recovered to date. There are zero deaths and zero hospitalisations except for two earlier cases who were briefly hospitalised in Nevis out of an abundance of caution.

Dr Cameron Wilkinson, Medical Chief of Staff of the Joseph N. France General Hospital, said that there are no immediate plans to have the visiting health professionals leave the federation.

“There still might be a second wave and we will continue to keep the Cuban [team] here until we are sure that we are safely out of this pandemic,” Dr Wilkinson said at the May 12, 2020, National Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 Daily Briefing.

“Prevention is better than cure. It’s good to have an abundance of caution when you are dealing with something like this,” he added, noting that setting firm timelines for the team’s departure were premature given the complexity of the new coronavirus.

Experts around the world remain baffled by the virus, and many countries, including the United States, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and Brazil are struggling to contain outbreaks.

In the meantime, the expertise of the 34-member Cuban medical brigade is being utilised to assist with the treatment of other ailments at hospitals and clinics across the federation.

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