4th April, 2020
Dr Garba Abari, Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), on Saturday explained that the 18-man Chinese medical team was only coming to Nigeria to share their experiences.
Abari noted that the Chinese team were not invited to take over from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Abari, speaking on a live programme with Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) lin Abuja, said the knowledge of how the pandemic was handled in China will be needed in Nigeria.
“Whatever information the Chinese medical team made available to NCDC will be filtered and applied to address the peculiar challenges of the country on handling COVID-19 scourge.
“This is a global pandemic and from wherever assistance comes, you cannot reject it.
“For instance, the United States is opening its doors to all volunteers that will come and assist them because they are also getting overwhelmed.
“Despite its fine medical facilities and expertise, US is now saying any form of assistance coming from anywhere that will add value to the fight against COVID-19 is welcome.
“It is not as if the government of Nigeria is not appreciating efforts of its own medical experts. This is the time when Nigeria is proud and appreciating its own medical experts and showcasing its best.
“This is the time that Nigeria is mopping all its competent hands, both active and inactive, and bringing them together with a view to ensure that we beef up competent human capacity required to address the issue at hand,” he said.
Abari, who said that humanity is being challenged by COVID-19, stressed the need for everybody to contribute meaningfully to the war against the virus.
He said that the Federal Government was responding favourably to the need to provide palliatives to the vulnerable groups, including persons living with disabilities, through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Investment.
Abari appealed to citizens, who had shown symptoms of the virus, to quickly present themselves to NCDC for testing and proper medical attention, to avoid endangering the lives of other people.
He also admonished citizens to maintain a high standard of personal hygiene by washing their hands constantly or applying alcohol-based sanitiser.
The DG also enjoined citizens to be law-abiding by obeying the stay-at-home directives of the government, declaring “together we shall defeat COVID-19.”