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15-man Chinese team to be tested for coronavirus, minister says

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The Nigerian Government Thursday said the 15-man team of medical experts from China that arrived the country on Wednesday has begun isolation for 14 days and will be tested for COVID-19 in line with global best practices and government advisory.

The government said the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), will ensure the quality of all the medical supplies that were brought into the country and also ensure proper distribution of the donations and strategic engagement with the medical team from China, to work with Nigerian medical experts.

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire who revealed this in a statement yesterday in Abuja explained that the Chinese delegation of is composed of doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians who will help strengthen testing and management of COVID-19 cases, especially those needing critical care in Nigeria.

Ehanire noted that the Chinese team is not in Nigeria to treat patients but to conduct capacity building based on their experience. He added that the mission will strengthen the response in Nigeria based on lessons from the response in China.

Ehanire said the Chinese medical team will provide first-hand experience and insights on how they were able to bring the spread of the disease under control.

As of April 8th, Nigeria has recorded 276 cases across several states with 6 deaths and discharged 44 cases.

“In addition to providing their expertise, the donation provides medical supplies to augment the efforts of the government towards containing the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria,” Ehanire said.

According to the minister, “the donors, a group of Chinese companies working in Nigeria, made this gesture in a show of solidarity and cooperation with the Nigerian Government as the world works together to contain this disease which has disrupted the lives of many.”

He observed that the donation also includes medical equipment and consumables, personal protective equipment (PPE) with over 1 million medical masks for health workers, and ventilators, amongst other items valued at over $1,300,000.

The minister said the resources will support the ongoing efforts of our hard-working and resourceful health workers across the country, including doctors and nurses, who have been at the forefront of fighting the coronavirus disease.

“The PPE will also serve to protect these frontline workers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the line of duty. The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), on behalf of the Federal Government, appreciates this gesture from the Chinese community in Nigeria, recognising that collaboration, knowledge sharing, and expert insight are critical in the fight against coronavirus.

“All available resources shall be deployed to support the adequate engagement of Nigerian medical experts towards curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria”, he added.


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