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Health minister defends govt decision to bring in Chinese doctors, says they will undergo tests

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has defended the decision of the Federal Government to invite Chinese doctors into the country to help with the ravaging COVID-19 disease.

He also said the Chinese health workers world be made to observe the country’s protocol for anyone coming into the country.

Ehanaire stated this on Monday at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 press conference in Abuja, while reacting to concerns raised by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA).

It would be recalled that the minister had on Friday said the Chinese team would come on board a Nigeria Air Force aircraft.

The NMA however raised objections, saying the plan was demeaning to Nigerian health workers who had been in the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 in the country.

While addressing NMA’s concerns, especially with regard to isolation of anyone coming to Nigeria from countries with high burden of COVID-19, the minister said that the Chinese would also be subjected to the national protocol guiding entry into Nigeria.

Read also: NCC reacts to reports on alleged link between 5G and COVID-19

He said: “On Friday, I announced that an 18-man team of Chinese technical experts is expected in Nigeria with a consignment of globally scarce supplies to augment government effort and build capacity to curtail the outbreak.

“The equipment includes personal protective equipment and consumables, more than a million masks and intensive care unit ventilators. There is global competition for masks and ventilators with countries donating or swapping ventilators. It is gratifying that in the face of all these, we are able to get these supplies; even if we have the money, we would not have been able to order for them.

“The technical experts will comprise research doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians and public health managers who will share their knowledge, skill and real life experience of fighting COVID-19 with Nigerian personnel.

“Anybody coming to this country will have to be subjected to the rules and regulations we have set. The experts coming, with all the valuable experience they are bringing and which we want to learn, will still be subjected to the rules we have established in the interest of our people. Even if they have done test in their country, we still have to do confirmatory test here.

“We carry the NMA along. I am a member on the NMA and I have told the president that the door is open. All he needs to do is to knock, whatever I am doing, I will be ready to see him.”

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