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S. Africans must act better to curb spread of COVID-19 - Cuban doctor in WC

Dr Pedro Manuel Perez Armas says South Africans need to improve their social distancing behaviour.

A member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) enforces social distancing as he makes shoppers hold their hands out in front of them to ensure that they are at least one metre apart from one another while they queue outside a supermarket in Yeoville, Johannesburg, on 28 March 2020. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – A Cuban doctor deployed to South Africa to work in the Western Cape to fight the COVID-19 pandemic said that better behaviour was needed among the public to curb the spread of the virus.

In May, a group of doctors landed in South Africa from Cuba, and 18 of them were deployed to work in the Western Cape, which was then the epicentre of the outbreak.

The Cuban health professionals specialise in general and family medicine information management, epidemiology and biomedical engineering.

Dr Pedro Manuel Perez Armas said that South Africans needed to improve their social distancing behaviour.

“We need to do something about the economy because we need to learn to live with the virus, this virus arrived to stay. Few places that should not be open yet because I think the population is not ready to be in that situation. I think if some places, when they open, the people do not have that social behaviour to keep a distance.”

Meanwhile, Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku said that the province was hugely benefiting from the Cuban doctors.

“They are helping us in a great way to understand how to unfold the ward-based approach in terms of community work and prevention. The better part of our fight against the pandemic is how we get around the issues of prevention and how we do public health education.”

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