The Federal Government has said it does not know the whereabouts of the Chinese doctors and technicians who came into the country to offer assistance to Nigeria in the fight against the Coronavirus.
The team of 15 Chinese medical professionals arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on April 8, 2020, with medical equipment worth about $1.5 million.
The team was expected to begin work upon completion of the 14-day quarantine period. The invitation of the Chinese doctors by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 was highly criticized by most Nigerians especially doctors under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
Speaking at the daily briefing of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, wondered why there was so much interest in knowing their whereabouts and he told journalists not to ask him the question again.
Ehanire said: “I want to explain, first of all, that I think not all of them were doctors and I heard that some of them are technicians, but they are staff of CCECC, the Ministry of health is not their host, so we can’t always explain what happened to them or where they are.”
There seem to be a lot of interests in these doctors but they are the staff of a company and I think they are on the company visa. So I will be very happy if you don’t ask me about where they are because they are not really our guests in that sense.
“But we have been able to learn some things from them by interacting with them from their experience in their country, we shared ideas about what they did in their country in managing COVID -19.”