Cuba to send medics to Turkey, Syria to assist in earthquake relief


HAVANA, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Cuba prepared on Friday to send healthcare workers to Turkey and Syria, joining a growing group of nations providing rescue and medical aid to the region after a devastating earthquake this week.

Cuban authorities in Havana on Friday evening said 32 medics were set to depart for Turkey. Earlier in the week, Syrian ambassador Ghassan Obeid told Cuban state-run media that 27 Cuban medics would be headed to Syria.

Countries around the world have volunteered health care workers and aid to the region the deadliest quake in two decades.

Cuba has sent its "armies of white coats" to disaster sites and disease outbreaks around the world since its 1959 leftist revolution.

Its doctors were in the front lines in the fight against cholera in Haiti and against ebola in West Africa in the 2010s.

The death toll from the earthquake, which struck Turkey and Syria in the early hours of Monday, stood at more than 23,700 four days after the quake rocked the region.

Reporting by Mario Fuentes, writing by Dave Sherwood. Editing by Gerry Doyle

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