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Chinese Medical Experts: CECC Clears The Air On Their Invitation To Nigeria

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.

Ehanire: Minister Of Health

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 .

Ihekweazu: DG, NCDC

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.   

Stephen Ubanna

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