The 18-man medical team coming from China to assist in Nigeria’s fight against the novel Coronavirus will be quarantined for 14 days in accordance with the country’s national policy on the pandemic.
Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, disclosed this in a statement published on his Facebook page on Monday.
Several Nigerians and groups, including the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), had questioned the rationale behind the invitation of the Chinese medics, particularly as individuals entering the country are expected to quarantine themselves for 14 days.
Gbajabiamila said he obtained a commitment on the development from Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health; and Olorunnimbe Mamora, Minister of State for Health, after a meeting following the concern of Nigerians on the health status of the incoming medical team.
The Speaker said members of the expatriate medical team will at no time have contact with any Coronavirus patient in any Nigerian hospital.
The statement read: “I just met with the two Ministers in charge of Health over concerns expressed by indigenous medical practitioners and many Nigerians on the engagement of Chinese doctors and nurses for the management of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
“We extracted the following commitments from them; One, the Doctors and Nurses will follow the protocol and be quarantined for 14 days once they arrive in Nigeria. Two, the doctors and nurses will at no time have any physical contact with any patient.”
Coronavirus originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019 and has now spread to over 200 countries worldwide.
Nigeria has recorded 238 cases of the epidemic, with five fatalities reported and 35 patients discharged as at early Tuesday morning.