Despite opposition from the Nigeria Medical association (NMA) and other health workers’ groups, Chinese medical equipment and personnel have arrived Nigeria as part of government effort to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
The equipment which are being brought in by local carrier, Air Peace departed Beijing Airport 16 hours ago for a 15-hour flight to Nigeria.
A Chinese firm, China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), through its subsidiary China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), said it was bringing the equipment and personnel to support Nigeria’s effort to tackle the virus.
A statement by the Managing Director of CCECC Nigeria, Micheal Jiang said the company “is delivering amongst others around 16-tons of test kits, ventilators, disinfection machine, disposable medical masks, N95 masks, medicines, rubber gloves, protective gowns, goggles, face shields, infra-red thermometers and other critical care items, through a chartered flight operated by Air Peace.
“The chartered flight is due to arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on 8 April 2020, these items required by the Nigerian Government will be handed over by CCECC to relevant authorities” he added.
Jiang explained that “considering its large number of employees in Nigeria, CCECC at its own cost, will dispatch a 15-member working team from CRCC, 12 of whom are experienced medical professionals with expertise in infectious disease, respiratory illness, intensive care, cardiology, neurology, general surgery and anesthesiology. Members of the team also have relevant experience in the prevention and diagnosis of the COVID-19.
“All members of the working team have tested negative to COVID-19 and shall commence their stay in Nigeria by undertaking 14 days in quarantine. The primary purpose of the working team is to escort the medical supply, provide guidance for their usage and distribution.
“They will also provide CCECC employees with critical and necessary healthcare assistance where necessary. They are also coming with adequate PPE and medical items for the employees. In addition, under the directive of Chinese Embassy and in response to the Nigeria Government’s request, the working team may also share with Nigerian medical teams effective methods on how to contain the COVID-19 and provide advice on the use of relevant medical equipment. The team is not coming to treat Covid-19 patients in Nigeria”.
The company said it was participating in the construction of two COVID-19 response facilities in the FCT for free as part of its Corporate Social Responsibilities.
The facilities are a 196-bed at “ThisDay Dome Treatment Centre,” in collaboration with Sahara Group and Arise News; and the 150-bed “Idu Depot Treatment Centre.”