A brigade of 52 Cuban doctors and nurses will travel to Lombardy to support the region of northern Italy – the most affected by the coronavirus pandemic in Italy.
Nearly 800 Italians died from the new coronavirus on Saturday.
Leonardo Fernandez, 68, an intensive care specialist, said on Saturday shortly before his brigade’s departure, said:
‘We are all afraid but we have a revolutionary duty to fulfill, so we take out fear and put it to one side.
‘He who says he is not afraid is a superhero, but we are not superheroes, we are revolutionary doctors.’
Fernandez said this would be his eighth international mission, including one in Liberia during the fight against ebola.
Cuba has one of the highest ratios worldwide of physicians per capita even when excluding those doctors abroad, and its medical brigades for disaster relief continue to earn Havana goodwill worldwide.
Head of welfare in Lombardy, Giulio Gallera, requested help from the Cuban doctors
Graciliano Díaz, 64, said:
‘We are going to fulfill an honorable task, based on the principle of solidarity.’