Chinese medical team to arrive in Nigeria soon — Health minister

By AdvocateNews on 04/04/2020

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon

Views: 812

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on Friday, said that Chinese doctors, nurses and medical experts would arrive in Nigeria in a few days to assist in the fight against COVID-19.

The minister said this during a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

Cases in Nigeria have reached 210 as the global figure also surpassed one million mark. He said Nigeria was also exploring the possibility of producing some medical equipment after key stakeholders met in Abuja on Thursday.

The coming of the Chinese medical experts was announced just as the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said efforts to contain COVID-19 in Nigeria were being limited by finance, manpower and other indices despite the support from government and individuals.

Ehanire said, “The global number has crossed one million mark, barely three months after the first cases were first reported in Wuhan, China. It is an indication that it is a public health challenge that we must not take lightly.”

He continued, “We are already seeing what may be the indication of community transmission, in that 30 per cent of the cases have incomplete epidemiological information. 51 per cent are imported cases and 19 per cent are through contacts of known cases.

“Directors of the Federal Ministry of Health had discussions with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria to explore the potential for local production of medical consumables such as face masks, gloves, sanitisers and even ventilators.

“This is in view of looming global shortages of medical supplies for the response due to high demands from all countries. Clinical trials and other processes are ongoing to validate various therapeutic for COVID-19 treatment.”

After the briefing, Nigeria recorded 20 new cases: 11 in Lagos State, three in FCT, three in Edo State, two in Osun State and one in Ondo State.

Chinese medical supplies coming

Ehanire said he had been notified of medical supplies from China courtesy of a group of Chinese companies working in Nigeria.

“A special cargo aircraft shall leave Nigeria in a few days to collect the items which include Personal Protective Equipment and ventilators.

“Of great interest is that an 18-man team of medical experts from China, including doctors, nurses and medical experts shall come along with the flight to assist us,” he said.

More COVID-19 cases expected

The minister said more cases might be detected during the remaining days of the lockdown window, calling on officials to speed up their work.

He said, “We are using the small window of opportunity remaining to intensify investigation to identify cases and sources. This is one of the purposes of the lockdown of the two states (Lagos and Ogun) and the FCT.

“Lagos and other parts will need to speed up their activities to detect and isolate COVID-19 patients.

“We expect to see an increase in cases during the lockdown as a measure of improvement in case finding. If all measures and social distancing are followed, the incidence of positive cases can be controlled.”

Efforts limited by money, manpower

However, at the briefing, NCDC Director-General, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the major focus of the government was to increase capacity for testing more samples in the next few days while also lamenting limitation of finance, infrastructure and human resources.

He said, “We are not just limited by funds and infrastructure, but the biggest limitation is human resources; the people that are already trained in bio-nuclear diagnostic testing. This is not something you can take up people and ask them to volunteer and go into the laboratory and start testing.”

Ihekweazu noted that so far, Nigeria had tested samples from about 4,000 people, with more laboratories being added to the existing ones.

He added, “Today, we have tested about 4,000 people and we will continue to drive up this number. We have fulfilled every requirement for a test so there is nobody that has come forward (without being tested). There has been some delay but every single sample that has come forward has been tested.

“Currently, we have added one more laboratory. We now have eight testing laboratories. We have three laboratories working independently in Lagos; the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigerian Institute for Medical Research and the Biosecurity Centre in Lagos that used to work with LUTH. It has been completely separated.

“Ibadan and Abakaliki test centres have been activated already. Today (Friday), we are activating the second laboratory in Abuja to support everyone around the area. The next town is Kano; between Sunday and Monday, it will be activated for the northern part of Nigeria.”

Stating the contribution of the private sector, Ihekweazu said, “We have some exciting proposals that we are working through with private sector. They have come on board to support us in doing this.

“Some public sector organisations that have private-sector affiliations like the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Fund Authority are working with us on the proposal to increase laboratory locations in Nigeria. There is a lot of work going on in the background to increase our testing capacity.

“I want to remind everyone that testing will not solve this problem. There is a lot of focus on testing and energy going into it and research at a global stage to validate rapid diagnostic test kits that are being sold around the world. We are waiting for those results. Once they are validated, we will start offering it, until then, we cannot offer it.”

The NCDC DG debunked the insinuation that high-profile people were being favoured in the testing procedure, saying case definition was being followed strictly.

6,700 contacts identified

Ihekweazu said in terms of contact tracing, the NCDC had identified about 6,700 contacts cumulatively.

“Some of them have graduated out; when you follow a contact for 14 days and he does not become ill, we graduate the case out of the contact list. As of yesterday (Thursday), we have followed up on 71 per cent of that,” he said.

Jack Ma kits under validation

Ihekweazu also noted that the test kits donated by Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, had yet to be used because they were being validated. He said this on the backdrop of insinuation that some Chinese kits were faulty.

He noted, “We will never deploy a test kit until we validate it. That process is ongoing. We are still using the kits we had before the donation from Jack Ma came in.

“Once we are sure that they (the kits) will provide answers equivalent to the test case we have, then we will deploy them.”

Lagos, Abuja to have mobile testing centres

On the need to increase testing, Ihekweazu said the mobile testing centres currently being used in South Africa would soon be in use in Lagos and Abuja.

He, however, explained that they were only going to be used to collect samples. -Punch 

Posted 04/04/2020 06:38:26 AM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon


 

You may also like...
Anambra, Enugu, Kogi can’t be declared Oil Producing...

Presidency endorses 65-year retirement age for teachers

Auto Crash claims 16 lives in Kano

FG gazettes court order proscribing Shiites movement

Register with Political Parties, Ekweremadu tells Civil Servants,...

DISCOs have failed in electricity supply — FG...

My VP role won’t conflict with Gov. Obiano,...

Hoodlums stone Dino Melaye’s car in Kogi

Osun rerun: Anti-Buhari coalition accuses INEC of releasing...

COVID-19: NUJ rejects Enugu govt palliative

INEC declares Buhari President-Elect

Sowore: US raises concern, warns against anti-democratic actions...

 

Latest News Post-Coronavirus, Africa’s Manufacturing Moment – By Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases exceed 9,000 as Lagos records 254 new cases Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President, responds to allegations against him Coronavirus: Monkeys 'escape with COVID-19 samples' after attacking lab assistant Nigeria’s economy sliding into depression – El-Rufai Police rescue three kidnap victims, kill one suspect, arrest another AfDB: Obasanjo, Jonathan, ex-African presidents oppose US, endorse Adesina Murder: Court jails six NAF personnel attached to ex-CDS, Badeh NTA Manager News kidnapped, NAWOJ calls for immediate release Ekweremadu faults Executive Order on Financial Autonomy for State Judiciary, Legislature IG redeploys 11 Commissioners of Police Buhari splits Police Force CID, approves additional commands

 

Most Read I’ve no Coronavirus, govt wants to kill me – Anambra Index case (32,409 views) Fleeing ex-DG Imo Broadcasting Corporation who stabbed wife to death arrested (25,299 views) Full Text of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s 2016 Budget Speech (17,132 views) Ex-Heads of State will protect Jonathan from persecution —Kukah (16,834 views) ASUU strike: Senate intervention ends in deadlock (15,994 views) All you need to know about Peter Obi, PDP VP Candidate (15,404 views) Ugwuanyi commends FG’s siting of ICT University in Enugu (14,909 views) Sickle cell support group seeks government intervention (13,993 views) Ebonyi bans embalming of corpses in homes (13,754 views) DEMOCRACY DAY: President Muhammadu Buhari’s full speech (13,039 views) France wins 2018 World Cup Final (12,441 views) The Big Kick-off: World greatest sports fiesta begins in Russia (12,389 views)

 

SECTIONS EDITORIAL (10) NEWS (2,652) POLITICS (443) SOCIETY (118) SPORTS (27) BUSINESS (305) HEALTH (37) EDUCATION (30) ENTERTAINMENT (18) INTERNATIONAL (64) TECHNOLOGY (1) COLUMNISTS (0) LETTERS (1) OPINION (20)

 

 

Julius Agwu - Crazy Interview Demands