Nigeria: Chinese Company to Participate in Construction of COVID-19 Response Facilities

The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has said it is participating in the construction of two COVID-19 response facilities in the Federal Capital Territory.

The company, in a statement signed by its Managing Director, Micheal Jiang, said this is to support Nigeria in its fight against the pandemic that is adversely affecting livelihoods across the world.

"In keeping with its corporate value, "Stride with Nigeria", CCECC is participating in the construction of two COVID-19 response facilities in the FCT for free as part of its Corporate Social Responsibilities.

"The facilities are a 196-bed at "ThisDay Dome Treatment Centre," in collaboration with Sahara Group and Arise News; and the 150-bed "Idu Depot Treatment Centre," the company said.

This is not the only support the Chinese group is rendering to Nigeria in its fight against the disease.

PREMIUM TIMES, yesterday reported the arrival of some Chinese medical equipment and personnel into the country.

According to the Chinese group, the equipment which arrived through a chartered flight operated by Air Peace includes - 16-tons of test kits, ventilators, disinfection machine, disposable medical masks, N95 masks, medicines, rubber gloves, protective gowns, goggles, face shields, infra-red thermometers and other critical care items.

It also said 12 out of the 15-member personnel are experienced medical professionals with expertise in infectious disease, respiratory illness, intensive care, cardiology, neurology, general surgery and anesthesiology.

Nigeria currently has 276 cases of COVID-19 of which 44 have been discharged and six deaths recorded.

Equipment and consumables

In a separate statement issued on Thursday, the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, said about $1,300,000 worth of medical equipment and consumables were delivered by the Chinese company.

He said the delegation of 15 Chinese medical experts who arrived alongside the equipment will help strengthen testing and management of COVID-19 cases, especially those needing critical care in Nigeria.

Mr Ehanire also said the medical experts have gone into isolation for 14 days and will be tested for COVID-19.

"In addition to providing their expertise, the donation provides medical supplies to augment the efforts of the government towards containing the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.

"The donation includes medical equipment and consumables, personal protective equipment (PPE) with over 1 million medical masks for health workers, and ventilators, amongst other items valued at over $1,300,000," he said.

Mr Ehanire said the Chinese medical team will provide first-hand experience and insights on how they were able to bring the spread of the disease under control.

He explained that the resources will support the ongoing efforts of health workers across the country, including doctors and nurses, who have been at the forefront of fighting the coronavirus disease.

"The PPE will also serve to protect these frontline workers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the line of duty.

"The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), on behalf of the Federal Government, appreciates this gesture from the Chinese community in Nigeria, recognising that collaboration, knowledge sharing, and expert insight are critical in the fight against coronavirus," he said.

Early controversy

Many Nigerians have expressed their disapproval of the government's decision to bring the Chinese medical experts into the country.

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) amongst other health groups said the move is unnecessary as the country has enough hands to handle the outbreak.

NMA, which covers all medical doctors in Nigeria, described the move as "a thing of embarrassment to the membership of the Association and other health workers who are giving their best in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic under deplorable working conditions."

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) also advised the federal government against the plan, saying it was unnecessary to invite Chinese doctors as Nigeria was already handling the crisis effectively.

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