Chinese medical team in Nigeria test negative for COVID-19 – Minister

The 15-member team of Chinese medical experts who came into Nigeria to support the country’s fight against COVID-19 have all tested negative to the virus, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has said.

Mr Ehanire, while speaking at the daily Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, said the Chinese tested negative after completing their compulsory 14-day isolation period.

“As for the Chinese persons who came in, the test has been done after they were quarantined for 14 days. All of them were negative.

”After that, the Federal Ministry of Health is done with that particular case,” he said.

The Chinese medical personnel arrived the country on April 8 “to share their experiences in fighting the COVID-19”.

Some Nigerians had kicked against the federal government’s decision to invite the medical experts, saying the country had enough doctors to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) also described the move as “a thing of embarrassment to the membership of the Association and other health workers who are giving their best in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic under deplorable working conditions.”

Mr Ehanire, however, insisted that the experts would be sharing their experience after making progress in the fight against the virus.

“The Chinese medics will be providing technical support to Nigeria in its fight against COVID-19, and also sharing experiential strategies of how their country curtailed the spread of the virus,” he said.

The Executive Director of China Civil Engineering Construction Cooperation(CCECC), Jacques Liao, had also said “the primary purpose of the team is to provide CCECC employees with critical and necessary healthcare.”

As of April 27, Nigeria has recorded 1337 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Out of these, 255 patients have been treated and discharged and 40 deaths recorded.

Health workers

Meanwhile, Mr Ehanire urged frontline health workers to always use their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when carrying out their duties.

”We have always warned that health workers must use their personal protective equipment,” he said. “Secondly, if you are not trained in infection prevention and control, COVID-19 is not for you as a health worker.”

”It is very risky to underrate the infectiousness of this virus because it is not like any other sickness or viral infection that you know,” he said.

He noted that only accredited isolation and treatment centres are allowed to attend to patients suspected of having COVID-19.

“That is why we have said only accredited isolation and treatment centres should be handling this infection,” he said. ”Private entities that want to participate can apply for accreditation and be trained and certified. Every other person who is doing treatment either privately or secretly is doing so at their own risk and to the public.”

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