15-man Chinese health team test negative for COVID-19

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The 15-member medical team from China have tested negative to Coronavirus, according to Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire.

The Chinese who were tested after completing their compulsory 14-day quarantine have all tested negative for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Chinese medics will be providing technical support to Nigeria in its fight against COVID-19, and sharing experiential strategies of how their country curtailed the spread of the virus.

Dr. Ehanire said on Tuesday: "As for the Chinese persons who came in, the test has been done after they were quarantined for 14 days. All of them were negative. After that, the Federal Ministry of Health is done with that particular case."

He said a committee of experts headed by Prof. Oyewale Tomori, a virologist and the other members will soon be sworn in.

"The ministry of health has set up a ministerial expert advisory committee, made up of eminent Nigerian virologists, public health experts, infectious disease and diagnostic experts and others, to study the evolution and development of the COVID-19 outbreak and the responses in Nigeria.

"The committee will advise on the national strategy and action plan, using lessons learned as we go along, and those learned from strategies in places across the globe. This will help us to identify and adopt the promising strategies and align our plans with best practices and advisories," he said.

Concerning the 40 health workers that are in quarantine for testing positive for COVID-19, the minister did not give any update but urged frontline health workers to always use their personal protective equipment (PPE) when carrying out their duties.

Ehanire said: "We have always warned that health workers must use their personal protective equipment. Secondly, if you are not trained in infection prevention and control, COVID-19 is not for you as a health worker. It is very risky to underrate the infectiousness of this virus because it is not like any other sickness or viral infection that you know.

"That is why we have said only accredited isolation and treatment centres should be handling this infection. Private entities that want to participate can apply for accreditation and be trained and certified. Every other person who is doing treatment, either privately or secretly — is doing so at his/her own risk and to the public.

"I can say quite happily and proudly that the Nigerian Army has agreed to support isolation centres with security as the need arises. So, we shall be applying for their support in situations where we need security for all our patients and also for those who are awaiting results who have been tested."

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