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Coronavirus vaccine may be ready “very soon”, says Nigerian professor

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A Nigerian professor of Pharmacognosy from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Maurice Iwu, has said a "drug" for the treatment of coronavirus might be ready "very soon".

Iwu,a former chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission and the Chairman of the Imo State Taskforce on COVID-19, said a version of the drug was already in use.

“The work on the drug we are developing is still going on," Iwu said while briefing newsmen in Owerri. "We are encouraged by the result we are getting. We are getting very positive signs."

“Luckily the drug is a safe one. It is drug already in use. We are repurposing it for this particular purpose. So when we finished the studying and testing we are doing, I think the drug will come up in line very very soon.”

Most importantly, he added “if the pandemic escalates, the NAFDAC will know what to do, like they did in USA to fast track the use of chloroquine."

“If we have a need NAFDAC will know what to do. Right now the product is in human use, what we are doing is to repurpose it for this particular event, ” he said.

More than 1,002,000 people have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease worldwide, as the death toll surpassed 51,000 while about 208,000 patients have recovered from the viral infection.

The coronavirus pandemic death toll in Spain passed 10,000 on Thursday, as the country reported its highest single-day number of deaths since the outbreak began, with the total rising by more than 1,000 to 10,096 among 110,238 infections.

Less than two months after Egypt became the first country in Africa to confirm a coronavirus case, the outbreak appears to have reached almost every nation on the continent of 1.2 billion people.

Of Africa's 54 countries, only four have yet to report a case of the virus: Comoros, Lesotho, Sao Tome and Principe and South Sudan.

Nigeria has recorded 184 confirmed cases so far: Lagos state has 98, FCT has 38, and Osun State has 14.

Oyo has eight cases, and Akwa Ibom has five cases. Ogun, Kaduna and Edo have four cases each, while Bauchi has three cases.

Edo, Enugu and Ekiti states have two cases each.

Rivers and Benue states have recorded one case each.

Ekiti index case was discharged earlier on Tuesday afternoon. The country has two coronavirus deaths. Both patients, NCDC said, have underlying medical conditions.

Lagos State and Abuja have been shut down since Monday night, a move by the Nigerian government to stop the spread of the dreaded virus. Both cities have recorded the number of the virus.

Some other states have also some form of measures to as well curb the spread.

So far, three state governors and President Muhammadu Buhari Chief of State Abba Kyari are among the people infected by the virus.

Iwu's comments raised the hope of readiness of a drug to combat the deadly virus.


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