Phillips asks Cuba for drug to fight coronavirus

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Phillips asks Cuba for drug to fight coronavirus

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — President of the opposition People's National Party (PNP), Dr Peter Phillips, has reached out to the Government of Cuba for Jamaica to access the anti-viral drug Interferon Alpha 2B, which is said to be among 30 such drugs being used in the fight against the COVID-19 virus in other jurisdictions.

This drug is being used in 14 other jurisdictions in Asia, Europe and South America, the PNP said in a statement today. The Cuban Government has expressed its willingness to make the drug available to Jamaica, on the basis of a formal request from the Government of Jamaica, the party added.

Phillips today wrote to Prime Minister Andrew Holness asking for cooperation in this intervention, which he announced in his budget presentation at Gordon House a short while ago.

“It would help to reduce the incidence of infection or help in reducing the severity of the infections,” the opposition leader said.

He pointed out that the Cuban Biotechnology industry has a lot to offer and countries further away and bigger than Jamaica have seen the value in embracing this intervention.

Phillips urged the Government not to delay in making the request of the neighbouring island, for the sake of our Jamaican citizens, “as the COVID-19 recognises no political or philosophical boundaries or even the economic blockade which continues against Cuba”.

Cuba has been assisting Jamaica with nurses and other medical professional for years.

A batch of 21 nurses from Cuba is expected to arrive in the island next week to help in the fight against the coronavirus.

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