Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, is open to the possibility of using local herbs to fight the COVID 19 pandemic.
The Minister of Health who made the disclosure when the Presidential Task Force on COVID 19 briefed members of the House of Representatives, said that the Nigeria Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development must first certify any such remedy like the local herbs before it can be used to fight the coronavirus.
He also added that those who claim to have found cure should subject it to test by the Nigeria Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development as local herbs can be categorised unto drugs that can cure the virus or those that can reduce the symptoms, adding that the body must be able to build the required antibodies to neutralise the virus.
Ehanire said “before now, it was said that Chloroquine can destroy the virus. But the test is still going on in that regard. We have to test the efficacy of local drugs to see if it can kill or virus and also to find out that is in the process of killing the virus, it can affect the body. So, the Institute will carry out the required test on the local drugs find out how it”.
He also said it was wrong for hospitals to turn back patients as a result of fear of COVID 19 as leaving other ailments unattended to can be fatal.
He however dismissed claims that the mysterious death in Kano was caused by COVID 19, adding that the PTF was still waiting for the result of tests carried out in Kano and therefore was not in a position to attribute the cause of death in the state to the pandemic.