- They must not treat patients while they’re here
- The medical team will mainly guide indigenous doctors
Despite the outrage in most quarters by Nigerians about the Federal Government’s decision to solicit the help of the Chinese in the fight against COVID-19, 15 Chinese medical experts entered Nigeria on Wednesday, to help combat Coronavirus disease.
The Federal Government received some medical equipment and supplies brought by medical team which arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja in a chartered Air Peace flight.
However, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who was at the airport to receive the Chinese and their supplies, said the team will be quarantined for two weeks.
“They knew that before they came and have undergone tests before they left their country. Nevertheless, they will be in quarantine for 14 days. The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has gone to see where they will be quarantined.”
“The equipment (they brought) will assist a lot to fill some existing gaps. We now have 50 more ventilators,” he added.
On his part, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, said the equipment and medical supplies are valued at about $1.5million. Added to the cost of the flight, everything is worth about $2million.
It was learnt that 12 of the 15-man team are doctors. The rest are specialists in infectious diseases, respiratory illnesses, intensive care, cardiology, neurology, general surgery and anesthesiology.
The Managing Director of CCECC, the engineering firm that made all this possible, Mr. Michael Jiang, said in a statement, “The primary purpose of the working team is to escort the medical supply and provide guidance for their usage and distribution.
“They will also provide CCECC employees with critical and necessary healthcare assistance where necessary. They are also coming with adequate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and medical items for the employees.
“In addition, under the directive of the Chinese Embassy and in response to the Nigeria Government’s request, the working team may also share with Nigerian medical teams effective methods on how to contain the COVID-19 and provide advice on the use of relevant medical equipment.
“The team is not coming to treat COVID-19 patients in Nigeria,” he added.