The Cuban Medical Brigade was received at the Malpensa airport with long applause. Everyone heard and saw them on the networks after their landing this Sunday. Two hours later, the group, made up of 37 specialists and 15 members of the nursing staff, had arrived at Crema where they would soon have to face what will be an unusual and distressing daily life.
For the intensive care doctor Leonardo Fernández, one of the first problems, before facing even the disease itself, has been the cold. He jokingly says it for the Ansa news agency that interviewed him by phone. Fernández is of the opinion that only Ebola has been more severe than the coronavirus pandemic.
He is 68 years old and his experience includes international emergencies due to earthquakes, tsunamis or epidemics such as hemorrhagic fever in Liberia. His only slogan seems to be one: “To aid, aid and aid.”
Like his companions, this man, a native of Guantánamo, is stationed in Crema, the municipality of the Cremona province located east of Milan. The region belongs to Lombardy, the area most affected by the pandemic.
The Cuban brigade occupies two locations there: a diocese and a hotel. In front of the field hospital, put up in the parking lot at the entrance to the emergency room of the Maggiore Hospital, a processing center was set up to guarantee food for the Cubans.
The field hospital has about 30 spaces, some of which will be dedicated to intensive care.
On Monday, after breakfast, the Cubans had a briefing with doctors and nurses from the Maggiore Hospital, which collapsed due to an explosion of hospitalizations.
“We are confident that they will be great allies in the fight against the virus, in the care of our sick fellow citizens and also in a small relief for our now exhausted health workers,” said Mayor Stefania Bonaldi.
But, long before the Cuban specialists got here, in Crema courtesy was also triggered to receive them.
They gathered some bicycles on which they would have to travel from their accommodations to the hospital, although Bonaldi said that for the moment they will not be necessary: they will have bus transportation.
There was no official welcome to avoid crowds; the real party, with them and with all the operators, will be on the occasion of their departure. That moment will mean the end of the virus.
Meanwhile, Fernández knows that the Cubans will remain in Crema for as long as necessary to resolve the emergency. Like his colleagues, this man says he feels confident that “we will overcome Covid-19, I have no doubts.”
With information from Ansa, Cremaonline.it and Varesenews.it