Nigeria: COVID-19 - Chinese Experts Will Subject to Established Rules in Nigeria

7 April 2020

The Federal Government has said that the Chinese experts coming to Nigeria with globally scarce supplies in the fight against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic would be subjected to established rules in the country.

Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, disclosed this at the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) briefing on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that 18-man team of Chinese medical experts is expected to arrive Nigeria in a few days with a consignment of globally scarce medical supplies to augment government efforts and build capacity to curtail the COVID-19 outbreak.

The donation by Chinese companies in Nigeria includes personal protective equipment, medical consumables, over one million surgical masks for health workers and ICU ventilators, valued at over $100,000, all sourced in the face of global scarcity of these items.

Ehanire said that they would do a confirmatory test when they get into the country.

He noted that the government was in discussion with manufacturers over the possibility of producing masks and ventilators in the country.

Earlier, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force for the control of COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, said that until the report by the PTF was completed, they would not be able to speculate if the 14 days lockdown would be extended or not.

Mustapha, who is also Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said that whatever decision the president makes would be based on the information available to him.

Speaking on the issue of masks, he said that they were busy churning out masks in Cross River State.

"There is so much demand all over the world. If we can get our local industries to come on stream, that will do a lot for employment.

"Innoson is assembling motor vehicles. But they are not manufacturing. We shouldn't trivialize the issue of manufacturing ventilators.

"Let's go out and procure it. We won't wait for any manufacturer to assemble," he explained.

On the incoming Chinese doctors, the SGF said Nigerians should be careful not to allow unnecessary controversies to distract them.

"Chinese doctors are not accredited in Nigeria, so they cannot practice. They are only coming to share their experiences," he said.

He noted that the Chinese were experts on COVID-19 because it started with them.

Also, the Coordinator PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, advised state governments to have isolation centres of at least 300 beds.

"Hopefully, we will not use them, but we need to be prepared," he said.

Aliyu noted that to be tested for the pandemic in the country, a person must meet the case definitions provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

"Regardless of your position in society, we will not test you if you do not meet the COVID-19 case definitions," he said.

NAN

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