COVID-19: Reps’ minority caucus opposes use of Chinese medics




A medical worker wearing a protective mask and suit and a patient suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen in an intensive care unit at the Oglio Po hospital in Cremona, Italy March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo


Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives has opposed decision of the Nigerian government to import Chinese doctors and nurses, to help in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Caucus, in a statement by its Leader , Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, on Tuesday warned  that bringing in medical personnel from the epicenter of the dreaded disease will expose the nation to further danger. 


Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, had earlier on Monday, after meeting with the nation’s health ministers, issued an advisory to the government on the need for the expected medics to undergo all necessary precautionary measures before being allowed to attend to patients. 


However, the Minority Caucus has asked the Federal Government to immediately rescind its decision and jettison all plans to import doctors from the hotbed of the plague into our country at this critical time.


The caucus in the  statement noted that Nigerian doctors and nurses are doing well so far in managing the scourge, and expressed fears that “bringing in Chinese medical personnel, whose status, intentions and scope cannot be easily ascertained and controlled is totally against our national interest” .


According to Elumelu, the Federal Government should note the apprehensions of Nigerians and professional bodies including the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) over the decision. 
The caucus said that this was particularly after alleged escalation of the pandemic in certain countries after Chinese doctors were reportedly involved, in addition to widespread trepidations over the safety of medical equipment and kits from China at this point in time.
The Minority leader stressed that at such critical time, the safety and wellbeing of our citizens must be paramount and anything that is capable of further jeopardizing their lives must be avoided.


Elumelu however commended Nigerians for their resilience and collaborative effort in fighting the spread of the pandemic in the country. 
He urged them to continue to adhere to health safety procedures of personal hygiene and social distancing as well as being their brother’s keepers at this time, while expressing confidence that with the combined effort of all, the nation will defeat the pandemic.

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