The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has described as untrue social media reports that 23 of the 217 Cuban medical professionals who arrived in South Africa last month, have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Cuban healthcare workers were deployed to South Africa to assist in the fight against the coronavirus.
The group consists of the following: experts in the fields of epidemiology, biostatistics & public health; family physicians to guide interventions through door-to-door testing & to assist local health workers in health promotion & disease surveillance at the community level 🇨🇺🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/Gsy8mmUn0R
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) April 26, 2020
SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini has described as shocking, reports of this nature making the rounds on social media.
“It is shocking and sad that there could be such a thing going around and there is no truth whatsoever in this news that is going around on Twitter, or any other platform. I am aware that a certain newspaper ran such a story, which the Health Department has responded to. I was alerted by my colleagues in the Health department and the bottom line is there is no truth whatsoever,” says Dlamini.
The SANDF says the Cuban medical professionals are still under quarantine with none of them having tested positive for COVID-19.
“The Cuban doctors were quarantined in Cuba for 19 days. So before they left they had already been quarantined and they got certificates to confirm that none of them had the virus. They came here and were taken to the quarantine site. They are in quarantine and will be distributed accordingly to the health facilities. But this is shocking and sad news that some people can wake up one morning and say that there is a number of them that have tested positive,” says Dlamini.
In this video, SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini denies reports that some Cuban medical personnel are infected with COVID-19: