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COVID-19: Oyo releases food advisory to boost citizen’s immunity

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OYO State Governor, Seyi Makinde has released a food advisory which experts have certified as immune boosters that could help the human body prevent attacks of COVID-19.

  Gov Makinde, while briefing  newsmen on the update of COVID- 19 in the state at the Government House, Ibadan , on Monday,  informed that the food advisory was certified by Prof Olatunde Farombi, a Professor of Biochemistry and Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Science.

 “This is on foods and natural products useful as preventive measures against COVID-19 and other viral illnesses. For instance, we have bitter kola, turmeric, zinc, ginger, garlic, citrus fruits and bitter leaf – they are all readily available in our environment,” he stated.

  The governor said: “We will issue an advisory based on the advice given by Prof Olatunde Farombi, a Professor of Biochemistry and Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Science.

  Farombi had, in the paper submitted to the Task Force, said: “Our research group has investigated the above agents in the last 25 years with publications in recognised journals. Some of the works have led to the award of PhD thesis adjudged to be the best by National Universities Commission and the University of Ibadan. Some patents have also come out of these studies.”

  The prof further stated: “Oxidative stress, hyper inflammation and compromised immune system are very common pathways by which coronavirus attacks the body system and people can then come down with the COVID-19.

  “We have indigenous food substances and natural products available to people that have been shown experimentally to have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. They also serve as immune modulators. They can be taken regularly as prophylaxis or as preventive measures against COVID-19 and other viral illnesses.”

  The governor said the state task force would reveal the identity of the company in Ibadan South West Local Government Area, which recorded 38 COVID-19 positive cases among its members of staff.

  “We have held back from revealing the name of the company so as to allow the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) gather intelligence and complete their investigation. So they will be done by tomorrow (Tuesday) and we will be able to give you that information, so that anybody who has visited the company recently will be able to present themselves for testing,” he explained.

  Gov Makinde also revealed that he would meet religious leaders in the state before the end of the week to review procedures for a possible relaxation of the ban on religious gatherings, as he had received numerous requests from religious leaders to allow religious services to hold.

  He noted, “We are currently in the accelerated phase in the transmission of COVID-19 in Oyo State and the expert advice is that transmission occurs more easily in enclosed spaces, so we cannot at this time relax this directive.”

“However, the experts are carrying out a risk situation analysis and would be sending in their reports before the end of May, and this will determine our next steps,” the governor said.

  The coordinator of the isolation and treatment centres in the state, Prof Temitope Alonge, commended the state government’s support, noting that the discharge of 25 patients in 48 hours, with more expected to leave soon, showed that the task force was on top of the situation.

  Alonge said: “What is more exciting is that before they leave, we also want to check their immunoglobin level, which is a reflection of how much antibody they have been able to muster against this virus.”

  “What we have found so far is that, with good nutrition and with the regimen we have put in place, many of them are developing what we call protective antibodies and they are having high IGG values.”

  He added that if a patient tests positive twice on admission, the regimen would be repeated, in addition to the continued use of zinc and vitamin C.

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