A 15-member medical team from China will reportedly arrive the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, today on a chattered Air Peace aircraft despite opposition by the Nigerian Medical Association,
Punch Newspaper reports that the personnel, who are experts in infectious diseases, respiratory illness, intensive care, cardiology, neurology, general surgery and anesthesiology, will be coming with their drugs, and equipment to carry out COVID-19 tests on the staff of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation in the country.
The Executive Director, CCECC, Mr Jacques Liao, said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, that the medical team would be coming with 16-ton test kits, ventilators, disinfection machine, disposable medical masks, drugs, infrared thermometer and other items ordered by the Federal Government.
He added, “All members of the working team have tested negative for COVID-19 and shall commence their stay in Nigeria by spending 14 days in quarantine.
Meanwhile, the Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives has rejected the decision of the Federal Government to bring in Chinese doctors and nurses to assist in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawmakers on Tuesday said the decision to bring in people from “the hotbed of the plague” was not in Nigeria’s best interest. They urged the Federal Government to suspend the plan.
Their position was contained in a statement signed by the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta), in Abuja, on Tuesday.
Elumelu said the caucus wanted the Federal Government to rescind its decision to import doctors from the “hotbed of the plague into our country at this critical time.”
The statement read in part, “The lawmakers note that Nigerian doctors and nurses are doing well so far in managing the scourge, and express fears that bringing in Chinese medical personnel, whose status, intentions and scope cannot be easily ascertained and controlled is totally against our national interest.
“The Federal Government should note the apprehensions of Nigerians and professional bodies including the Nigeria Medical Association over the decision. The caucus notes that this is particularly after alleged escalation of the pandemic in certain countries after Chinese doctors were reportedly involved, in addition to widespread trepidations over the safety of medical equipment and kits from China at this point in time.
“At such critical time, the safety and wellbeing of our citizens must be paramount and anything that is capable of further jeopardising their lives must be avoided.”