The African National Congress (ANC) has expressed its gratitude to Cuba as over 200 of health professionals from that country make their way to South Africa.

The doctors are expected to arrive at midnight. They are part of a worldwide solidarity effort by Cuba to assist in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen Cuba’s Henry Reeve medical brigade, an initiative of the late Fidel Castro, deployed in over 21 countries.

The medical team, popularly known as the ‘Army of the White Gowns’, consists of family physicians, epidemiologists, health care technology engineers and biotechnology experts – among others.

The governing party says this specialised medical team has been carefully selected in collaboration with South Africa’s Department of Health to provide much needed support in arresting the spread of the coronavirus.

They are said to be bringing great expertise in the planning, execution and management of clinical cases, as well as the public health response.

“We commend Cuba for the selfless manner in which they responded to our government’s SOS during these turbulent times, tailoring their assistance carefully to our needs, commensurate with the gesture of International solidarity displayed by Cuba during our liberation struggle against apartheid,” reads the ANC statement.

In the video below, the Cuban ambassador to South Africa elaborates on the mission of the doctors: