May 16: Nigeria receives COVID-Organics, scientific tests ordered
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday (May 16) received the country’s share of a purported coronavirus herbal cure, COVID-Organics.
The made-in-Madagascar cure was delivered to Buhari by Guinea-Bissau president, Umaru Sissoco Embalo, who was in Abuja on official visit.
Buhari subsequently ordered that the consignment be sent to the necessary regulatory bodies for tests before a decision on administering it will be made.
“We have our institutions, systems and processes in the country. Any such formulations should be sent to them for verification. I will not put it to use without the endorsement of our institutions,” he stressed.
My position regarding all herbal or traditional medicines is that any such formulations should be sent to the statutory regulators for thorough scientific verification. We will not put anything to use in Nigeria without the endorsement of our regulatory institutions.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) May 16, 2020
Madagascar donated a consignment of the controversial cure to the West African bloc, ECOWAS. The donation was sent through Guinea-Bissau. A number of countries have received their supplies according to reports.
The ECOWAS Commission weeks back dismissed reports that it had ordered for the cure. It said it supported traditional efforts for medical cure but would only endorse scientifically approved drugs.
May 12: Nigeria accepts COVID-Organics
Nigeria is set to fly in Madagascar’s herbal cure donation from Guinea-Bissau, a top official at the president who is leader of the presidential task force on COVID-19 disclosed on Monday.
According to Secretary General of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, President Buhari has given strict orders that the COVID-Organics consignment be subjected to necessary standard validation processes for medicines.
He was speaking during the daily press briefing of the presidential task force in the capital Abuja. “Madagascar has made allocations to various countries, and sent them to Guinea-Bissau. We‘re supposed to make arrangements to freight Nigeria’s allocation from Guinea Bissau; it‘ll be subjected to the standard validation process for pharmaceuticals.
“Mr President has given instructions for the airlifting of Nigeria’s allocation of the Madagascar Covid-19 Syrup; also given clear instructions that it must be subjected to the standard validation process for pharmaceuticals; there will be no exceptions for this.
“Nigeria has only one National Response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Where there are differing Strategies is in the implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions. But as far as the (Health) Response is concerned, there is only one National Response,” he stressed.
Nigeria’s case statistics at close of day May 11 stood at 4,641 with 242 new cases. The number of discharged and deaths stood at 902 and 150 respectively. The new cases were spread across 13 states and FCT, the top three being 88 in Lagos, 64 in Kano and 49 in Katsina.
May 6: ECOWAS ‘rejects’ COVID-Organics, Madagascar’s untested virus cure
The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has dissociated itself from reports of a donation from Madagascar regarding a coronavirus herbal cure, COVID-Organics.
In a May 6 press release, the ECOWAS Commission said it dissociates itself from claims that it had “ordered a package of COVID Organics (CVO) medicine from a third country.”
“We wish to dissociate ECOWAS and its health institution, West Africa Health Organization, WAHO, from this claim and inform the general public that we have not ordered the said CVO medicine,” the statement read in part.
The controversial Malagasy virus cure is already in West Africa after Guinea-Bissau took delivery of a donation days ago. The Malagasy president Andry Rajoelina told national broadcaster that a donation had been made to 15-member ECOWAS bloc.
At the handing over ceremony to Guinea-Bissau officials, the packaging of the drugs had flags of all African countries in the bloc. Bissau had agreed to deploy to neighbouring countries, Rajoelina added.
The current statement is a direct response to Rajoelina’s claims. It stressed that ECOWAS was not against traditional or herbal contributions to health challenges but that it was only ready to support and endorse products that had been scientifically tested and proven.
It added that WAHO remained in contact with WHO, Africa CDC and other international stakeholders in seeking a scientific search for COVID-19 cure. The WHO has warned against untested cures whiles the Africa CDC said it was in talks with Antananarivo.
It is not known as yet if Guinea-Bissau has started deployment and whether other African countries will accept the packages. The last ECOWAS heads of state meeting did not discuss anything around the issue.
ECOWAS-CEDEAO (@ecowas_cedeao) May 7, 2020