Here's where the Cuban doctors will be deployed to fight Covid-19
Health minister Zweli Mkhize has provided details of how the specialist doctors from Cuba who arrived in the country on Sunday will be deployed across the country.
Most of the doctors will be deployed in the Covid-19 hotspot provinces: the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Mkhize said 29 of the doctors will work in Gauteng, while 28 will be deployed in KZN and 26 in the Western Cape.
The rest of the group will be deployed as follows:
- Eastern Cape - 20;
- Free State - 17;
- Mpumalanga - 14;
- Limpopo - 13;
- North West - 13; and
- Northern Cape - 11.
The Cuban specialists are currently under quarantine. Mkhize said they would be rolling up their sleeves soon given that theirs was "not necessarily the 14-day quarantine" that was usually prescribed.
The minister also assured South African doctors that the Cubans were not in the country to steal their jobs but would serve as a reinforcement given their special medical skills.
"They are coming to add on what South African human resources are, so it is important to say that the Cuban doctors are coming at our request to reinforce because they have particular strengths," he said.
"We welcome the Cuban doctors and want to assure everybody they will not take anybody's post. They have come to assist us and they will be working alongside South Africans."
According to the latest figures released on Tuesday night, the current provincial breakdown of the country's 4,996 Covid-19 cases and 93 deaths is:
- Western Cape - 1,870 (with 38 deaths);
- Gauteng - 1,377 (8 deaths);
- KwaZulu-Natal - 919 (30 deaths);
- Eastern Cape - 616 (10 deaths);
- Free State - 113 (5 deaths);
- Limpopo - 31 (2 deaths);
- North West - 29;
- Mpumalanga - 24; and
- Northern Cape - 17.
Mkhize said the doctors' duties will include analysing the outbreak in the various areas where they will be deployed. They will study trends on the ground to assist the department in its strategy on how to halt the spread of the virus.
"We have allocated them depending on where the epidemic is hitting the hardest," said Mkhize.
Gauteng was getting the most deployments from the Cuban brigade because "that is where the biggest pressure is".
"They will be spread everywhere, on the basis of the width of the outbreak. All in all. these specialists will be visiting every province."