A few months ago, when it was announced that Chinese Doctors had been received at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, at the invitation of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) raised alarm, alerting the population to the illegality of the action and asking that the doctors, who they alleged were flown in only to treat Chinese nationals be repatriated to their home country.
Yesterday, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 was asked about the status of the Chinese Doctors who were flown into the country as expert consultants for our fight against the virus. They had gone largely silent since the initial uproar and press wanted to follow up. The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire replied reporters, alleging that the Ministry of Health wasn’t ‘hosting’ the Chinese nationals, and as such had no idea about their current whereabouts. In his exact words:
“The other one is about the Chinese doctors. I think not all of them are doctors, some of them are technicians, but they are staff of CCECC. The Ministry of Health is not their host, so we cannot always explain what happens to them or where they are.
“There seems to be a lot of interests in these doctors, but they are 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.”