Chinese Medical Teams And COVID-19 Resources Sent To Africa. Not Everyone Is Happy About It

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
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Chinese medical teams and COVID-19 resources have been sent to Africa to assist with the fight against the coronavirus, but not everyone is happy about it. A man wearing a face mask walks at the Yaba Mainland hospital where an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on Tuesday from Milan on a business trip, the first case of the COVID-19 virus is being treated in Lagos Nigeria Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. Image: AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba

China, with 10,000 firms operating in African countries, has sent personal protective equipment, coronavirus testing kits and medical professionals to Africa.

Chinese doctors were sent to Algeria and Nigeria to help treat those infected with the coronavirus, according to Quartz.

Chinese medical professionals have also been deployed to Europe, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf as part of a global initiative to help the world recover from the COVID-19 pandemic which originated in Wuhan, China.

While the rest of the world struggles to deal with the coronavirus, China’s government-controlled media report that the country has the outbreak under control. 

Months of strict lockdown and purpose-built COVID-19 hospitals helped control the spread, with 3,336 dead out of nearly 82,000 confirmed cases, according to the Chinese.

Around 1,100 people are still infected in China, with 42 new cases detected on April 9. New daily cases appear to be decreasing.

Despite cases still active and new cases appearing in China, some of the country’s medical professionals are turning their attention to other parts of the world still grappling with the disease.

In March, Chinese doctors visited Algeria. The 13-member team arrived on a relief flight carrying personal protective equipment such as masks and clothing, News24 reported.

Reports suggest that China may be planning to build a small hospital in Algeria that will be used for preventive care for an estimated 5,000 Algerians and 4,000 Chinese employed by the state-owned China State Construction Engineering Corporation

Algeria has been the hardest-hit African country in terms of reported deaths from the coronavirus, with 235 deaths. It has 1,666 confirmed cases.

On April 3, the Nigerian government announced that an 18-member Chinese medical team including doctors, nurses and other medical experts will arrive in Nigeria in a plane transporting more badly-needed protective equipment for Nigerian health professionals, Anadolu Agency reports.

However, the doctors from China will not be welcomed with open arms, according to TheAfricaReport.

The trip has been described as “ill-timed” by the Nigerian Medical Association, a group representing doctors and other medical professionals in the country.

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Nigerian healthcare workers argue that they have done well in containing the virus and feel that it is demeaning for foreign experts to be brought in to assist, Quartz reports.

Bringing medical experts from China is demoralizing to the country’s front line, the Nigerian Medical Association says.

Nigeria has 288 confirmed cases of coronavirus and seven people in the country have died from the disease.