The Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has warned Nigerians against large purchase of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, saying the drug had not been certified for use.
The Chairman of the PTF and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said this at the PTF COVID-19 daily press briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
He said through the surveillance system set up by the PTF, it had received reports that Nigerians had been purchasing hydroxychloroquine in large quantities to treat the virus.
“We wish to reiterate that this drug has not being certified for use in treating COVID-19 in Nigeria by the relevant health and pharmaceutical authorities.
“Self-medication of any kind is fraught with the danger of increasing risks of avoidable casualties. We therefore strongly warn against self-medication,” he said.
According to him, “if you are sick, please seek medical advice and if you are confirmed positive, kindly self-isolate in an approved facility, the COVID-19 is highly infectious and dangerous.”
Although the World Health Organisation and other health experts have repeatedly warned that no drug has been approved for treating COVID-19 yet, statements by public officials including President Donald Trump of the U.S. and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State may have encouraged the mass purchase of chloroquine and its derivative, hydroxychloroquine, by Nigerians.
Mr Trump has repeatedly encouraged the use of the drug and said even he was using it. Mr Mohammed also said he had approved the use of the drug for COVID-19 patients in the state.