SA to nominate Cuban medics for Nobel prize, says grateful Ramaphosa

01 February 2021 - 21:33
President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday night that his government would nominate Cuban health specialists for the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in helping SA fight Covid-19. File picture.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday night that his government would nominate Cuban health specialists for the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in helping SA fight Covid-19. File picture.
Image: GCIS

SA will nominate the Cuban medical brigade for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for its work around the world to fight Covid-19.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said this in his address to the nation about new Covid-19 regulations on Monday night. Ramaphosa praised Cuba for sending out 3,700 medical professionals around the world to fight the pandemic, including those who came to SA.

“We have been extremely fortunate to receive support from all over the world. This evening I wish to recognise, in particular, the selfless and unwavering assistance of the government and the people of Cuba.

“True to its history, this small island nation has demonstrated solidarity with the hardest- hit countries and sent more than 3,700 Cuban medical people throughout the world to assist in the fight against Covid-19.

“In recognition of this effort, the South African cabinet has approved a proposal to nominate the Henry Reeve International Contingent of doctors specialised in disaster situations and serious epidemics,” said Ramaphosa.

The president said the medical professionals had treated more than 38,000 people by the end of November 2020, and were still active in many countries, including SA.

The grouping arrived in the country last year at the peak of the first wave of Covid-19 and members have been working in different provinces.

“We extend our sincerest gratitude to the people of Cuba for this great demonstration of solidarity and humanity. Like so many people around the world, we have suffered tremendous loss and endured great sacrifices,” said Ramaphosa.

He further thanked the bravery of front-line workers in the country, saying SA can finally imagine a reality where Covid-19 has been “brought under control”.

“It is up to us not to let down our guard, to prevent a third wave of infections,” said Ramaphosa.

He encouraged South Africans to vaccinate, when the time comes, to stop the further spread of the virus.

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