Update: Chinese doctors will be quarantined for 14 days – Health Minister

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Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire

The team of Chinese doctors and experts who arrived in Nigeria the early hours of today will be required to remain in isolation for 14 days before they begin working fully in Nigeria.

Speaking to newsmen after their arrival, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, thanked the Chinese government for sending experts and equipment to assist Nigeria in tackling the coronavirus pandemic and further reiterated the need for the team to be quarantined.

“They will be in quarantine for 14 days.

“They knew that before they came and they have undergone tests before they left their country.

“Nevertheless they would be in quarantine for 14 days.

“The NCDC has gone to see where they will be in quarantine and they will be paying visits there throughout the 14 days.

“We are very happy to see the equipment that have come today.

“This is the second consignment from China after the Jack Ma consignment.

“We believe it will help us a lot in addressing the gaps we would have had in commodities and also very important equipment.

“We have 50 ventilators more after this visit. Beyond the ventilators, we also have the oxygenator which is similar to a heart-lung machine, a very sophisticated machine to treat those cases where even a ventilator has failed.

“This is a very important addition to our regiment of treatment options.”

While congratulating the China for being able to successfully manage the pandemic, the minister said that Nigeria had much to learn from the experiences of the Asian country.

The minister added that plans had already been made for the experts to begin to share experiences and answer questions even while in quarantine through teleconferencing.

“What they will be doing here is capacity building to add to the body of knowledge which our experts have.

“Even while they are on quarantine, I have requested that they connect with our doctors and experts via teleconferencing so that we can start early to ask questions and learn from their narratives,” he said.

The minister stressed that the experts were indeed needed as they had more experience in handling viral infections especially the new coronavirus.

He said that the Nigerian experts were also doing a good job but noted that every health or medical expert needed to learn from those with more experience.

The medical team that came from Irrua are experts in managing viral diseases generally and this is a viral disease.

“But this coronavirus is a novel virus disease. So it has new dimensions which are new to us and even the experts among us would like to know more about it.

“So the visit of these experts from China will give us information not only on public health aspects but on case management and all the difficulties they had.”

Suzan O