The speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gabajabiamila, yesterday asked the federal government to quarantine the invited 18-team of Chinese medical doctors for 14 days on their arrival.
He said this in Abuja at a meeting between the leadership of the house and the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire and the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora.
The Nigerian Medical Association, the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria and the Trade Union Congress had rejected the plan to invite the Chinese medical experts.
Gbajabiamila said: “There are a lot of complaints about why we are bringing in Chinese doctors. It is incumbent on us, as lawmakers, to intervene, following the concerns of our constituents to understand the issues and get the right information to them.
“Having listened to you, what we’re taking away from this meeting is that Nigeria needs this intervention from the Chinese, but you’ve to make it mandatory that they observe all the protocols laid down for the disease.
“As you explained that they won’t have direct contact with Nigerian patients, you’ve to make sure that they go through our official immigration laws, they’ve to get work permit waivers because they’re coming here to work.
“Also, they’ve to be quarantined for 14 days as stipulated by the protocol, and you’ve to educate Nigerians about this to avoid misconceptions. We have laws and they must be complied with.” Mamora said the Chinese doctors were expected to help in setting up molecular laboratories in Nigeria as well as upgrade and reconfigure existing ones.
Meanwhile, The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Taskforce Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, yesterday in Abuja at the sixth joint national briefing said the Chinese medical experts were only coming to share experiences and train Nigeria’s medical personnel.
“They’re not accredited and cannot practice, but only coming to share their experiences. As a matter of fact, they’re in the best position of experience, since the pandemic started from their side and they were able to contain its spread. Thus, they’re only coming to share their experiences and also train some of our medical personnel,” he said.
He said the invited Chinese were public health specialists and medical engineers that would support Nigeria’s capacity in managing the pandemic on advisory basis when necessary, while drawing from their experiences.