The Federal Government has said that preliminary results of the analysis of Madagascar’s herbal cure for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) revealed it as the same as Artemisia annua, also known as ‘sweet annie’, used in malaria treatment.

Artemisia annua is grown by the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRID). Further research into its efficacy will be conducted when the grant is approved, the government added.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, on May 15, received the country’s allocation of the Madagascar anti-COVID-19 drink during which he promised to listen to scientists before allowing traditional or any new medicine to be administered on Nigerians to treat the pandemic.

At the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing yesterday in Abuja, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said the specie of the plant available in the country had a very high concentration of Artemisinin, with very high yield, adding that further research would focus on the efficacy of the plant for treatment of COVID-19.

Ehanire revealed that all government hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would become COVID-19 sample collection sites, so that walk-in cases could have samples taken for testing at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

According to him, the move is to assure users and care-givers of reduced bottlenecks and improved efficiency in the country’s response, which will be scaled up to other states.

“I strongly advise we do not embark on non-essential travel. This is particularly so for the elderly and those designated as high risk.

“Many countries made adherence to rules not only mandatory; some even imposed penalties for non-compliance. The exploding figures we see now would be considerably less if most citizens complied. The benefits of compliance are such that we should be encouraging each other and ensuring that we obey and remind others to obey, without requiring policing,” he noted.

Chairman of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said the Federal Ministry of Education would consult further with stakeholders before issuing guidelines that would lead to full resumption of schools across the country.

Mustapha observed that schools had not resumed and that only critical examination classes would be allowed to resume for those who need revision before examinations.He appealed to Nigerians to continue to show understanding and ensure that their wards take full advantage of electronic platforms provided for learning.


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