Cuban health worker collapses, dies after completing quarantine

ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC)—Dominica has extended condolences to Cuba and in particular the relatives of a 42-year-old Cuban health worker, who collapsed and died on Tuesday night, mere hours after completing a second 14-day quarantine.

Health Minister Dr Irving McIntyre, providing an update on the efforts being made by the Government to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), said that the 42-year-old male health worker had arrived here in March as part of the “Henry Reeve” Cuban Medical Brigade providing assistance in the fight against the virus that has killed more than 250,000 people and infected more than three and a half million others worldwide.

“On behalf of the Government and people of Dominica, I would like to extend my deepest sympathy and condolences to the Cuban Medical Brigade in Dominica and the Cuban people as well,” McIntyre said, describing the death ‘as an unfortunate incident’.

“He is a 42-year-old male, he came to Dominica on March 29; he completed 14 days of quarantine …after which he was assigned to the COVID Isolation Unit at the Princess Margaret Hospital where he worked from the 16th to the 20th of April.”

McIntyre, a medical practitioner, said that after the Cuban national had completed his work schedule he was again placed in quarantine for 14 days “which is the normal protocol — two weeks quarantine after you have been to a COVID facility — and was due to begin work again when he suddenly collapsed”.

McIntyre said that Dominica would be easing a number of the measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus after the island did not record any new case for the past 28 days. Dominica has recorded 16 cases and no death since the pandemic began.

He said people will be allowed to go to the beaches and rivers from Monday to Saturday and that more businesses will be allowed to be opened.

“We are making further recommendations as regards to adjusting our public health and social measures,” he said. These include the opening of appliance, electronic, clothing and textile stores.

But he warned that businesses which are allowed to operate must do so under the existing measures, including social distancing as well as the wearing of masks. McIntyre said that the authorities will soon decide on the opening of bars and nightclubs.

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