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COVID-19: FG to licence 19 local firms for treatment drugs as Nigeria records 8068 cases

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THE Federal Ministry of Health is set to issue licence for production of herbal COVID-19 drugs on 19 local firms.

  The firms made many claims ranging from the outright cure for COVID-19 to the treatment of the symptoms.

  Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, confirmed this during a chat with newsmen yesterday, adding that a meeting was held with the leadership of NAFDAC, the National Institute for Medical Research, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and other relevant stakeholders.

  According to him, they will undergo screening at the ministry as well as Department of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. They will also submit samples of their product to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control out of which three would be picked and recommended for funding.

  “We met with about 19 of them to know what remedies they have in place and to know how we can put them through the processes from listing the medicine to clinical trial and then we wanted to know the challenges they were having.

They said those challenges essentially were funding and they needed assurances that their intellectual property would be protected and their product or remedy would not be stolen or repackaged by someone else.  

The other challenge is how to go about the clinical trial. Part of that is how they source for patients because they will need patients who are volunteers.   These patients have to be volunteers since it is a new product that will be put out there.

So, we are now in the process of screening the 19 of them and we will shortlist some of them. About three will be shortlisted for further assessment and we will recommend support for them in order to fast track the process of determining their efficacy,” he said.

  When asked if the drugs were for the outright cure of COVID-19 or just for the treatment, Mamora said it was too soon to say as discussions were still on.

  He said NAFDAC would test the herbal solutions to see if they are safe for human consumption.

  Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases in Nigeria increased further yesterday with 229 cases reported by the country, despite efforts by authorities to flatten the curve of the pandemic.

  This takes the country’s total infections to 8,068 out of which 2,311 have been discharged with 233 losing their lives.

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed the figures on its Twitter.

  According to NCDC, the new cases were spread across 14 states and the FCT with Lagos accounting for the highest number of infections for the day with 90 cases. Anambra recorded one confirmed case.

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