Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Wednesday confirmed 284 new cases of coronvirus across the country.
284 new cases of #COVID19;
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) May 20, 2020
A total of 6677 cases have now been recorded in 34 states and the FCT.
The number of recoveries is now 1840, while Nigeria has recorded 200 deaths.
Speaking at the presidential task force on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Chikwe Ihekweazu, the NCDC director-general, said with the rate of transmission, Nigerians have to learn to live with the virus.
“I think it’s become clear to all of us that we will have to learn to live with this virus for some time to come, and living with it means not only saving lives from the virus, but saving lives from all the other things that afflict us,” he said.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday received the delivery of the country’s allocation of the Madagascar anti-coronavirus drink.
“President @MBuhari has received the Madagascan native formulation against the COVID–19 pandemic,” Bashir Ahmed, a presidential spokesman tweeted.
Ahmed said the president further “reiterated that he will listen to science before allowing traditional or any new medicines to be administered on Nigerians.”
The herbal mixture is a drink derived from artemisia – a plant with proven efficacy in malaria treatment – and other indigenous herbs.
In April, Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina launched the remedy at a news conference, drinking from a sleekly-branded bottle filled with an amber liquid which he said had already cured two people.
Madagascar has since been giving away thousands of bottles of the product, developed by the state-run Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, to countries across Africa.
World Health Organization (WHO), however, said the drink’s efficacy is unproven and warned against “adopting a product that has not been taken through tests to see its efficacy”.
Isolated compounds extracted from artemisia are effective in malaria drugs WHO noted but said the plant itself cannot treat malaria.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention also said the drink should be “tested rigorously”.
Health specialists are worried that people who drink the product might feel they are immune to COVID-19 and engage in risky behaviour, WHO’s Africa head Matshidiso Moeti said.
“We are concerned that touting this product as a preventive measure might then make people feel safe,” she said.
While the global health body is yet to approve the usage of the drink to treat coronavirus patients, many African countries like Nigeria are trusting the drink produced by Madagascar.