Managing Director, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Nigeria Ltd, Michael Yigao, says the 15 Chinese medical experts that arrived in the country on April 8 are in the company’s care.
Yigao made the disclosure on Monday in Abuja while reacting to questions raised by the media and opposition parties on May 14, as to the whereabouts of the Chinese medical team.
This followed comment by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, that the experts, who reportedly came into Nigeria to support the fight against COVID-19, were not his guests but those of CCECC.
Ehanire, while responding to questions at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing May 14, said “the medical personnel are not guests of the Federal Government but that of the construction company”.
Yigao, who corroborated this while speaking with newsmen, confirmed that the experts came into the country to share their experiences in fighting the COVID-19.
It will be recalled that some Nigerians had kicked against the decision to invite the medical experts, saying the country had enough doctors to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) even described the move as an embarrassment to the association and other health workers who were giving their best in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic under “deplorable working conditions”.
However, Yigao clarified that the team came specially to help CCECC fight this pandemic and protect its employees.
“The team had a telecast meeting with the Minister of Health and some doctors around the country and shared their experience in China on how they’re fighting the virus and the meeting was very positive.
“ They are here with us and have continued to teach our staff how to protect themselves because protection and prevention are more important than the treatment.
“Most of the workers understand the situation now and they know the risk, so they follow the proper procedures and cooperate with their instructors,’’ he said.
He said the medical experts would be heading home as soon as there was a commercial flight to China.
“Right now, commercial flight to China is not open, but when flights are open again, we’re considering the team going back to China.”