By Benprince Ezeh
THE Presidential Task Force, PTF, has advised Nigerians not to use hydroxychloroquine as treatment for Covid-19. Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, SGF, and chairman, PTF, said that hydroxychloroquine has been linked to increasing deaths of Covid-19.
Speaking at the national briefing of Covid-19 on Wednesday, May 27, the SGF said that World Health Organisation, WHO, has temporarily suspended all clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19. “This advice was informed by a study which identified that the use of hydroxychloroquine, either alone or with other drugs, has been responsible for a high number of deaths,” he said.
According to Mustapha, the use of Hydroxychloroquine was discouraged because it had not been certified for use in treating COVID-19. “We have read in the media about the side effects of the use of this drug from COVID-19 patients that survived as well as those who took it outside clinical supervision
“This precautionary measure by the WHO underscores the importance of not only seeking expert medical advice but also ensuring that all claims to treatment by scientists and researchers, whether conventional or traditional should be subjected to scientific certification protocols by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, and other relevant institutions so as to guarantee the efficacy of the discovery,” SGF said.
Mustapha said that the PTF is happy to note that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has indicated the willingness to support research efforts. This is, therefore, a call on our researchers and scientists to take up the challenge. “As a measure of the importance attached to research and development of local capacity for finding a cure to the COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Health held a virtual meeting with a number of researchers and scientists with claims to cure for COVID 19 and out of the numerous claimants, three were found to deserve further investigation and have been forwarded to the relevant authorities for appropriate review. Similarly, efforts are being made by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to subject a good number of locally manufactured COVID 19 equipment to verification and subsequent certification,” Mustapha said.
However, the SGF talked about strengthening of community engagement in the control of COVID-19. “I am pleased to inform you that a protocol has been developed and it gives community members greater involvement and ownership in identifying and supporting the case management process. The details will be unfolded in the coming days.
“As we progress into the closing days of the extension of the eased lockdown (Phase 1), I wish to assure all Nigerians that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration feels the economic pains they are passing through and it is for this reason that beyond the number of stimulus packages especially for citizens that rely on daily subsistence, the gradual opening up of the economy is also a strategy in preparing for a POST-COVID economy.
“To achieve this objective, we have continued to brief the National Economic Council, NEC, and the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF. It has also collaborated with the Economic Sustainability Committee, the Economic Impact Committee and the Committee on Free Movement of Agricultural and Allied Produce. We urge that the private sector, religious and traditional rulers also join the pursuit of a robust national response,” he said.
– May 28, 2020 @ 16:45 GMT /