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Covid-19 - Nigeria

US President Trump has not yet sent ventilators to Nigeria as promised – minister

Nigeria Minister of Information Lai Mohammed.
Nigeria Minister of Information Lai Mohammed. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Nigeria’s information minister Lai Mohammed said that no ventilators have arrived on Nigerian soil, a month after US President Donald Trump made the promise to send the medical devices to cope with hospitalised Covid-19 patients.

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Mohammed said Trump made the offer to his Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on 28 April, saying that the US was committed to helping the Nigerian people.

The information minister was responding to questions at Nigeria’s daily coronavirus task force meeting after Trump said he had sent ventilators to Nigeria last week.

“Nigeria just called. We’re giving them 250 ventilators,” Trump said on 12 May.

That number is different from Trump’s comments during his tour of the Ford Motor Plant in Michigan on 21 May, where he said that the US was giving Nigeria 1,000 ventilators.

Trump has earmarked 8,000 of the medical devices, essential in fighting Covid-19 in the most severe hospitalised cases, to be shipped around the world by the end of July.

The ventilators cost between $5,000 to $30,000 per machine, depending on the model. There was no indication as to whether the US would pick up the bill or would pass the price on to the countries that requested the devices.

Back at the daily Covid-19 press conference, Information Minister Mohammed said that if a consignment of ventilators arrive, they will be announced publicly.

Chinese Ali Baba Entrepreneur Jack Ma has already donated testing kits and ventilators to each African country in three separate shipments, including 300 ventilators sent to Nigeria.

According to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Nigeria has recorded some 8,915 coronavirus cases, including 259 deaths.

 

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