More than 200 Cuban healthcare workers arrived in South Africa early Monday to support efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The development comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa requested his Cuban counterpart Diaz Canel Bermudez for assistance, according to a presidency statement.

Ramaphosa said in a Twitter post that the arrival of Cuban health workers was a demonstration of the strategic partnership and solidarity between the two countries, and a good example of South-South cooperation.

”We thank HE President Díaz Canel Bermúdez for responding to our call & we forever remain grateful to the people of Cuba,” he added.

The group consists of experts in the fields of epidemiology, biostatistics, and public health, and family physicians to guide interventions through door-to-door testing and to assist local health workers in health promotion and disease surveillance at the community level, the communique said.

Healthcare technology engineers are also there to assist in maintaining the inventory, deployment and repair of aged medical equipment, whereas experts will provide technical assistance while working with local experts.

Last week, the head of state said his government will ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions in a bid to revive the country’s economy.

South Africa has confirmed 4,546 virus cases so far, with 87 deaths and 1,473 recoveries, according to the latest figures by Johns Hopkins University.

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