18-man medical team, one million masks, others to arrive from China – Health Minister

As the nation struggles to end the global Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has said that an 18-man medical and technical experts along with one million masks will be received into the country from China.

This Minister disclosed this while addressing reporters on Monday in Abuja.

He stated that Chinese construction company, CCECC, in charge of a number of Nigeria’s major railway construction projects, will as parts of its corporate social responsibility efforts to help Nigeria combat the coronavirus pandemic will send the masks.

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“The masks are to be accompanied by ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and an 18-man team made up of Chinese medical and technical experts, the Minister said during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

“The supplies being brought in by China are “globally scarce” and will “augment government support and build capacity to contain the outbreak.”

“Many of you who read the news know that there is a global competition for masks, that certain countries have been accusing each other of capturing each other’s masks,” he said.

“There has also been a global competition for ventilators with some countries donating ventilators to others and also swapping ventilators.

“So . . . it is particularly pacifying that in the face of all of this, we are able to get these supplies here, which even if we had the money, we would not have been able to order.

Knowledge of the team

“In addition, the technical experts will comprise research doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians with public health managers who will share their own knowledge and skills – and their real-life experiences of fighting COVID-19 – with Nigerian experts to strengthen our own management of cases, especially with regard to critical care.

“As we all know, this country (China) has had quite an experience with it,” he added.

Needed PPE

He said, “Now, this initiative will greatly build the capacity of our hard-working and resourceful Nigerian healthcare workers who are at the forefront of fighting the virus.

“But the most needed PPE and masks will also protect our frontline workers and mitigate the spread of this disease.

“We do have a window of opportunity to strengthen our response mechanisms through lessons we learn from any country that has had the experience and can provide a hands-on demonstration of how to deal with the outbreak and give Nigerian clinical workforce the opportunity of sharing global best practices.”

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