COVID-19: FG allays fears over visiting Chinese health workers

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Giving the clarification on Monday at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, who is also Chairman of the PTF, also informed that the personnel invited from China are all public health specialists and medical engineers.

He also explained that the essence of the expected personnel was to draw from the experience of those who managed the pandemic in China, adding that the relationship would be advisory and not for management of cases or interface with patients.

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), in a statement by its president, Dr. Francis Faduyile, had expressed the association’s disappointment with the move, describing the plan as an embarrassment to its members and other health workers fighting COVID-19 under deplorable conditions.

The body threatened to withdraw the services of doctors should the federal government go ahead with the proposal.

However, the SGF clarified on the circumstances that surrounded the expected arrival of aids in personnel and equipment, adding also that all nations of the world, without any exceptions, had been seeking help from around the world to combat the pandemic.

“However, I wish to clarify that all the countries of the world are seeking for assistance and are receiving help in the fight against COVID-19. Even the almighty United States is looking for help elsewhere.

“The support coming from China is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative by CCECC, a company with total value of infrastructure contracts worth $10 billion in Nigeria.

“The professionals that have been invited from China by CCECC, through their parent company in China, are public health specialists and medical engineers that will support Nigeria’s capacity in managing the pandemic on advisory basis when necessary, while drawing from the experience of the Chinese.

“In no way shall there be case management and interface with patients. They will train our manpower, advise on procedures and methods, install and test the equipment donated before handling them over.

“I therefore use this medium to appeal to our medical professionals to see the positive aspects of this gesture as an extension of development in the field of medicine.

“The PTF recognises and respects the competence and capability of Nigerian Doctors and other medical personnel. This is a state of war against the coronavirus and time should not be devoted to unhelpful controversies.”

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