14ymedio, Havana, 1 September 2020 — Pedro Antonio Milan Barreiro is the third Cuban doctor to die in Venezuela from Covid-19. The news has been made known through social networks, where hundreds of friends and acquaintances have spread the information. Milan Barreiro worked as an orthopedist at the Orlando Pantoja Hospital in the Contramaestre municipality, in Santiago de Cuba, although he had been part of international medical brigades for several years.
The specialist had already worked in Venezuela years ago, when he was posted in Apure. Just a week ago, an acquaintance had inquired about his state of health and a friend replied that his was recovering, without specifically alluding to the disease he suffered. Medical personnel are among the groups most affected by the coronavirus, due to the high exposure to the disease they have, on many occasions without adequate protective measures and equipment or in optimal conditions.
“Today, while I was at work, I receive the sad news of the death of my great friend Pedro Milan as a result of Covid-19 in Venezuela. What a great friend, how much sadness in my soul. How much I remember now those first years together on the mission. Tremendous man and friend. Tremendous professional. May God welcome you into his bosom. My condolences to his family and friends. Rest in peace my brother,” wrote a colleague of the deceased doctor on his Facebook profile.
“In honor of Dr. Pedro Antonio Milan Barreiro, there are no valid words or dedications for him, now that the veil of death prevents him from seeing the light. The moment was before, when day by day he gave himself as a professional, as a human being to whomever needed him without any interest or distinction. Who deserved years of life with his family, in his country, a dignified and decorated life… With a well-paid Specialty in Orthopedics and Traumatology that would allow him to do so,” lamented another colleague .
Last week, Leonel Rafael Batista Hierrezuelo, only 28 years old, also died in the state of Trujillo, Venezuela, due to Covid-19. Through the condolences received on the social network, it was learned that Guillermo Sáez, another doctor who was on a mission in Venezuela, also died as a result of the coronavirus.
The 46-year-old nurse Yoel Rodríguez, originally from Pinar del Río, also lost his life for the same reason, but none of the deaths has been disclosed in the official press except for Batista’s which was published in the Sierra Maestra newspaper without specifying the cause.
In mid-August, Cuba sent a new health brigade made up of 212 doctors to Venezuela to join the 20,000 Cuban health workers from the Barrio Adentro mission. The newcomers belong to the Henry Reeve international contingent and are part of the 1,000 who are expected to go to work in Venezuela in the coming months, according to the official press. Earlier, on July, 26 health workers arrived in Maracaibo, where there are more than 130 Cuban doctors.
In the numbers of infections abroad reported daily, the Cuban government detailed that they came from Venezuela, something it stopped doing when the outbreaks began to soar.
On Sunday, Nicolás Maduro announced seven days of “radical quarantine” that began yesterday, after the country registered 386 deaths. The opposition, however, denounces that there is an underreporting of at least 60% in reported deaths and that the real number of deaths is 778.
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