Nigeria adopts Remdesivir for COVID-19 treatment

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Nigeria has named a drug, Remdesivir, as having passed clinical trial for the treatment of the Coronavirus Disease in the country.

The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria as having said this in an interview on Channels Television on Sunday.

NAN reports that Ihekweazu said that since the outbreak of COVID-19, the agency had been committed to following the science, adding that it was happy about the clinical trial evidence of a drug, Remdesivir.

He said the next step would be to work with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control to make the drug accessible.

He also said the NCDC was working to establish community transmission tracing team in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and Lagos and Kano States.

He said this against the backdrop of the gradual lockdown ease in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States, billed to start on Monday (today).

The three have been locked down by President Muhammadu Buhari for five weeks in an effort to curb COVID-19 spread, though Ogun State started a week after.

Mass movement will be gradually scaled up in the three localities from Monday but curfew will be imposed from 8pm to 6am, while the use of face mask will be mandatory in public.

Ihekweazu said the agency had been working hard to increase its testing capacity, adding that the increase in testing capacity would result in a rise in the number of cases.

The DG said the NCDC had increased its laboratories across the country to 18.

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He said the NCDC modelling showed that the lockdown was successful in limiting potential wide-scale transmission of COVID-19 in the country.

He said the lockdown enabled the agency to prepare better to tackle the pandemic.

According to him, the primary objective of the lockdown was achieved.

He said the gradual easing of lockdown was because the nation’s economic activities were linked to livelihoods.

Ihekweazu said: “Despite best efforts of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the state governments, no response measure to control COVID-19 will be adequate until Nigerians resolve to adhere to recommended measures.

“I am confident we will get to where we want to be in the fight against the virus.”

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Ihekweazu hoped that Nigerians would continue to take the safety guidelines as part of their lives after COVID-19 pandemic.