Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has said drugs from China meant to combat the coronavirus would be cleared by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
He made the disclosure during the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Friday.
He also said the team has been under quarantine since they came into the country. He clarified that the purpose of the medical team from China coming into the country is to provide technical support.
“The team from China is under quarantine.
“We asked where they intend to observe the quarantine and they said they have a compound. So, we sent the NCDC to go and inspect the compound before they came.
“We also told them that every day the NCDC will have access whenever they like to come and inspect. So, that is what they have agreed to.
“Whatever it is that they brought will have to be certified by NAFDAC, also whatever medicines they brought. The medicines will be certified by NAFDAC before Nigerians will take those medicine.” Osagie said.
He added: “Whether they are treating Nigerians or not, I doubt. Because if you are in quarantine and they understand that they are in quarantine, it is not the strangers that you will immediately start using to treat your people.
“Our main interest in these people is to see from a scientific point of view what actually the processes were that they used in their country. What are the tactics that they applied? This is because if you want to know something, you ask somebody who has suffered it before.
“I have told them that even though they are in quarantine, they can join us by video conference. This way, we can begin to ask questions so that they don’t waste the period. So, as from next week, we will join by video conference so that we start asking them questions.”
Director-General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, also warned that wearing masks was not enough and urged Nigerians to take social distancing seriously.
“Even when we announce our decision on the mask, the masks are not going to solve the problem. So, there have been some messages around the country seeming to imply that wearing a mask makes all the other measures no longer necessary. This is simply not the case.
“If we do offer an advisory around masks, it will be in addition to everything else; it will not be in place of it. So, we have to understand the reasons for these measures.
“The Google mobility report for Nigeria tells the level of intensity of contact between individuals in different locations in Nigeria. The last one from the 29th of March shows that mobility trends in leisure centres – supermarkets, transport hubs, and places of employment in Nigeria have reduced by about 27 percent.
“That is very good, but it’s not enough and we have to push that proportion even further down. So, I’m hoping that as data becomes available for the next few days, we will see a further reduction because our future really depends on this” he said.
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