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Covid-19 in Nigeria

15 Chinese medical experts are with us – CCECC MD

Valentine Chinyem

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Barely 24-hours after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), issued a statement saying it is giving the federal government 48-hours to produce the Chinese doctors it invited into the country on April 8, 2020.

Michael Yigao, Managing Director, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Nigeria Ltd, on Monday in Abuja, said the 15 Chinese medical experts are in the company’s care.

Recall that the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, had in the previous week denied the medics were guests of the federal government, but those of CCECC.

Ehanire, was responding to questions at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 when he made the statement

This had generated public outcry, with many taking to social media platforms to accuse the government of having ulterior motives.

However, Yigao clarified that the team came specifically to help CCECC fight this pandemic and protect its employees.

This is also against Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s, the minister of information, comment that the medics were at different isolation centres within Nigeria working with their Nigerian counterpart to help curtail the disease.

“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,” Yigao said.

“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 assured that the medical team would head home as soon as commercial flight to China begin operation.

“Right now, commercial flight to China is not open, but when flights are open again, we’re considering the team going back to China.”

While eulogising the government, Yigao said, “in a big country like Nigeria, it can be a bit difficult to control a pandemic because you will have to make all the people of such a large country understand that it is serious and real thing.

“I think Nigeria is taking this very seriously and you can see it in the implementation of the lockdown and the suspension of international flights etc.

“And like other companies in Nigeria, we will do whatever we can to help the country, like building treatment centres and training people on how to handle the virus”.

He said that his company would like to build on the strong mutual relationship between Nigeria and China.

“Upon request from the Nigerian government, we gave necessary support, like building treatment centres and at the same time delivered some health related equipment.

“We understand the COVID-19 pandemic challenge in Nigeria because we are based here and have a lot of employees and we do believe, that with efforts from the government and from the people, we will win this war.

“I hope the people of Nigeria understand that we need the help of all peoples across the world to win this fight against coronavirus,’’ he added.

He said that CCECC would continue to give quality support to the Nigerian people in all areas.

“CCECC is a Nigerian company based here for nearly 40 years, and most of the staff here are Nigerians, so we have a Nigerian voice.

“At CCECC, we have a company standard and we do not compromise, you can see our touch in the airport terminals, Abuja Isolation Centres, Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos rail lines etc.

“You can see our works at the Airport Terminals, they are one of the finest in Africa, we at CCECC will not compromise standards for any price.”