Coronavirus: Nigeria to distribute impounded rice, govt defends Chinese experts

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When Nigeria closed her borders last year, part of the reason was to combat the incidence of smuggling. The customs recorded a lot of impounding at the entry points. President Buhari on Tuesday ordered that 150 trucks of impounded rice be distributed to the poor and needy.

An aide on digital media disclosed the information on Twitter. “President Buhari directs the Nigeria Customs Service to release 150 truckloads of rice seized from smugglers for immediate distribution across the country. Part of the FG’s palliative measures to cushion the effect of the #COVID19 Pandemic.”

For the first time in as many days, Lagos did not record a new case. As at close of day Monday, six new cases were recorded with 2 each in Kwara and Edo States and one apiece in Rivers State and Abuja.

The national tally now stands at 238 with 35 discharged and five deaths. Lagos still topped with 120 cases followed by Abuja with 48 and Osun with 20 cases. All three jurisdictions are under federal lockdown.

The NCDC is meanwhile continuing with its #TakeResponsibility campaign as it shares vital information on the coronavirus pandemic and how to identify, contain and prevent its spread. It focused on self-isolation in its latest edition.

As at close of day 6th April, there were:

238 confirmed cases
35 discharged
5 deaths

For a breakdown of cases by state

In an interaction session with speaker of the lower house of the national assembly, Health Minister Osagie Ohanire defended the federal government’s decision to invite Chinese experts.

According to him, these group of medics were in the frontline of China’s management of the virus and thus they come with a skill set that no Nigerian doctor has prior. Minister of State for Health Olurunnimbe Mamora further explained that the Chinese doctors were expected to help in setting up molecular laboratories in Nigeria as well as upgrade and reconfigure existing ones.

Meanwhile, The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Taskforce Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, yesterday in Abuja at the sixth joint national briefing said the Chinese medical experts were only coming to share experiences and train Nigeria’s medical personnel.

“They’re not accredited and cannot practice, but only coming to share their experiences. As a matter of fact, they’re in the best position of experience, since the pandemic started from their side and they were able to contain its spread. Thus, they’re only coming to share their experiences and also train some of our medical personnel,” he said.

He said the invited Chinese were public health specialists and medical engineers that would support Nigeria’s capacity in managing the pandemic on advisory basis when necessary, while drawing from their experiences.

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