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COVID-19: Chinese medics to be quarantined on arrival today

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Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Chinese medical supplies and medics are arriving Nigeria today in response to Nigeria’s efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Among the items being expected are; 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, through a chartered flight operated by Air Peace, according the Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC)

CCECC, a multi billion dollar contractor in Nigeria, is the main company behind the shipment of medical supplies and Chinese medics into Nigeria which has been generating debate. Many public commentators, experts including medical associations in Nigeria have all called on the federal government to dump the idea of bringing the Chinese experts to the country.

However, the government has insisted that it needed every help it could get in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The CCECC in a statement noted that all members of the working team have tested negative to COVID-19 and shall commence their stay in Nigeria by undertaking a 14-day quarantine. It said that it had the backing of the Federal Government of Nigeria, its home government and its mother company – the China Railway Construction Corporation (‘CRCC’) – after exhaustive deliberation on how to help the country check the outbreak of the coronavirus, through it’s Corporate Social Responsibilities programme. It noted that its goal was to support “Nigeria in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic that is adversely affecting livelihoods and economies across the world by making available necessary medical equipment and health consumables.” The statement noted that the chartered flight is due to arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja today. “These items required by the Nigerian Government will be handed over by CCECC to relevant authorities,” it stated. The statement also said that, considering its large number of employees in Nigeria, CCECC at its own cost, will dispatch a 15-member working team from CRCC, 12 of whom are experienced medical professionals with expertise in infectious disease, respiratory illness, intensive care, cardiology, neurology, general surgery and anesthesiology. Members of the team also have relevant experience in the prevention and diagnosis of the COVID-19, the statement noted. It said that the primary purpose of the working team is to provide CCECC employees with critical and necessary healthcare assistance. “They are also coming with adequate PPE and medical items for the employees. In addition, under the directive of 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. In addition, the 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 “ThisDay Dome Treatment Centre,” in collaboration with Sahara Team and Arise News; and the 150-bed “Idu Depot Treatment Centre.”

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