By Elizabeth Chukwuma
The Controversy surrounding the 15-man Chinese medical experts who had arrived the country on April 8, 2020, through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, appear from being over.
Osagie Ehanire, minister of Health may have started the controversy when he said that he does not know the whereabouts of the Chinese medical experts who had arrived in the country on the invitation of the Chinese Engineering and Construction Corporation, CECC.
His claims may have forced Rauf Aregbesola, a former governor of Isun state governor and minister of Interior to step in order to correct the impression, stressing that the Chinese medical Team, who had a month VISA, issued to them by the Nigeria Embassy in Beijing, the country’s capital, were working on some projects in Nigeria. He cited the retrofitting and Installation of equipment at the Idu isolation center, at the FCT, and the 300- bed This Day Dome project being executed in Collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
The officials of the Corporation who could no longer bear the embarrassment that the activities of the medical experts had been misconstrued by Nigerians had on Friday, May 23, 2020, issued a Statement to clear the air. It had stated that the Chinese medical experts may not have been involved in the treatment of the WuhanTown in Hebei Province of China emerged coronavirus, cases, popular, COVID 19, in the country but they had provided ‘’ technical support to the Nigerian government’’ in the installation of equipment at Thisday Dome, a 300 –bed Isolation center.
The CECC, officials , who could not hide their feelings said the medical experts which include infectious disease experts were brought to Nigeria primarily to assist the CECC in’’ preventing COVID 19 break among its Staff and providing expertise on COVID 19 management should the need arise’’.
They Corroborated the ministerial views that they are in Nigeria at the instance of the Corporation which had cared for them at all times including providing accommodation. The CECC officials had maintained that the Chinese medical experts who were in country had ‘’complied with all known Nigerian Immigration Services, NIS, Laws and health protocols’’.
The ministry of Health, officials were said to have had the opportunity of meeting the medical eexperts through an invitation for a teleconference with the ministry Representatives and Nigerian medical experts in experience sharing sessions, meaning that these Chinese medical experts stay in Nigeria was not a waste. as They were said to have impacted their country’s technical knowhow of managing the COVID 19, to the ministry officials and Nigerian medical Doctors which may have helped to curb the spread of the disease in the country.
It is not surprising that why the CECC officials could blow their trumpet that in spite of the fact that the Nigeria government had no hand in bring the Chinese medical experts to the country, they had had assisted the government in several ways at no cost .
Although, the CECC, officials, had said the Chinese medical experts brought to the country had exposed the country’s ministry of Health officials and medical Doctors, through a teleconference to the technical knowledge of containing the spread of the deadly disease, but the Nigerian Center for Disease and Control, NCDC, under the close watch of Chikwe Ihekweazu, appears not to have put knowledge acquired into practice as the disease had been hovering between 200 and 330 infected persons daily.
n Take for instance, the agency Friday report which showed that the country recorded 245 COVID 19, cases, thus bringing the total of the country’s infected since the outbreak of the disease last February to 7,261.
Medical experts believe that Nigeria and Morocco are now competing for position on the COVID 19 scale in Africa. As at Friday, May 23, 2020, Morocco, a North African country had produced 7,406 , Coronavirus cases. But the total number of infected persons the world-over stood at 5,364,773 with 2,189,033 recoveries and 342,021 deaths, leaving no fewer than 2,833,719, infected persons still struggling to recover and survive.
Many believe that by the time the world Health Organisation, WHO, approve the drugs for the treatment of the disease from the solidarity launching of the drugs that went through the International clinical testing it will stop the spread of the disease in Nigeria, nited States, US, Spain, Italy , Iran and other parts of the world.