A team of 17 Cuban medical doctors assigned to the Free State will be deployed in the five districts to render service in primary health care. The group is part of a contingent of 217 entrusted with aiding the country in the fight against Covid-19. Medical practitioners have been deployed in the other eight provinces as part of the government’s mission to curb the rapid spread of Covid-19. The full team of health professionals arrived in the country late in April and immediately went into quarantine. They completed their 14 days in quarantine in Pretoria, clearing them to render service.Montseng Tsiu, Free State MEC for Health, welcomed 17 Cuban doctors on Monday (18/05) at a low-key occasion held in Bloemfontein. “Our Cuban health professionals are now in the Free State, where the provincial Department of Health is facilitating their registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), as well as induction, before they can practice medicine in the country.” According to Tsiu, the Ministry of Health has done everything according to prescripts in order to protect both the Cuban health professionals and South Africans. Mondli Mvambi, spokesperson for the Free State Department of Health, said the doctors specialised in the following categories: family physician, information manager (Biostatistics), epidemiology technologist and health technologist. He said the Cubans would be integrated into the teams serving in primary health care in the five districts. “Their speciality is mainly oriented towards primary health care for preventative health care services,” said Mvambi. The assignment of the Cuban health professionals is a result of the ruling party’s longstanding alliance with the Cuban government. It was influenced by a relationship during the liberation struggle against the apartheid regime. Ties between the two countries have also seen the Free State government sending medical students to study in Cuba. By Tuesday (19/05), confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the province stood at 148 since the detection of the first case in March, while the death toll was six. Nationally, confirmed cases had risen to 16 433.