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PTF warns against panic purchase of Hydroxychloroquine


Hydroxychloroquine PHOTO: Getty Images

Insists Hydrxoychloroquine has not been certified for COVID-19 in Nigeria
The Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 (PTF) has warned Nigerians against the panic purchase of Hydroxychloroquine and reiterated that the drug has not been certified for use in treating COVID-19 in Nigeria by the relevant health and pharmaceutical authorities.

PTF also apologized to journalists, medical personnel and other essential workers who have suffered one form of harassment or the other from security personnel in the course of carrying out their duties.

It also urged state governors to exercise caution in relaxing restrictions, stressing that large gatherings beyond twenty persons remain prohibited and should be adhered to.


Chairman of PTF and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha who gave the warning at the daily press conference yesterday in Abuja, said that through the surveillance system set up by the PTF, it has received reports that Nigerians have been purchasing Hydroxychloroquine in large quantities.

Boss Mustapha cautioned that self-medication of any kind is fraught with the danger of increasing risks of avoidable casualties.

He said, “We, therefore strongly warn against self-medication. 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. We wish to reiterate that this drug has not been certified for use in treating COVID-19 in Nigeria by the relevant health and pharmaceutical authorities”.

The SGF who listed medical personnel, journalists, fire service personnel, telecommunications workers as part of essential workers exempted from the 8 pm curfew nationwide, said, “The PTF has consistently answered questions and provided explanations on the categories of persons and services exempted from some aspects of these guidelines particularly as it relates to restrictions on interstate movement and curfew. For the avoidance of doubt, essential workers including our indefatigable medical personnel, diligent journalists, courageous fire service personnel, telecommunications workers, are all exempted. The Inspector-General of Police has further clarified the categories of essential workers in alignment with the guidelines and has issued instructions to security agents to work on the approved exemptions. With this clarification, we sincerely hope that the persistent complaints of harassment by these categories of essential workers, especially medical personnel and journalists would be put to rest so that we can harmoniously work in battling this pandemic”.

He urged all essential workers to go about their legitimate businesses carrying with them valid means of identification and to exercise courtesy in approaching security personnel

Boss Mustapha noted Wednesday served as a stark reminder to the entire world about the severity of the COVID-19 when the World Health Organisation (WHO) reminded the world that we still have a long way to go in fighting this pandemic when the WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus announced that 106,000 cases were recorded globally in twenty-four hours, representing the highest single-day number since the outbreak of the pandemic.


He said, “This is significant because it brings to realization, the relentless assault, of the virus on humanity. ​For us in Nigeria, the importance of this message is very clear. We need to eschew scepticism about the existence of this virus and its potency, change our behaviour and commit to joining hands in tackling this pandemic.

The SGF urged state governments to diligently implement the guidelines and to exercise caution in relaxing restrictions in a manner that is capable of setting back the gains already made.

According to him, ‘I participated in the National Economic Council with Vice President and all the State Governors. This is coming on the heels of an earlier virtual meeting between the President and the Governors in a space of one week.

​During the meeting, the issue of alignment of their state-level actions with the guidelines issued was emphasized. Similarly emphasized is the need for states to diligently implement and enforce compliance. Particularly, I underscored the need for the Governors to provide personal and strong leadership, carry the policy of community ownership to the grassroots and create a deeper awareness. 8.​The Governors were also advised on the decision taken by some of their colleagues to permit large gatherings as such decisions could inadvertently endanger the elderly, the sick and those with underlying factors during such gatherings. The strong advisory from the PTF is that large gatherings beyond twenty persons remain prohibited and should be adhered to.

He admonished Muslims in the country on the need to wear a mask, keep physical distances, avoid large congregations, avoid unnecessary inter-state travels and observe personal hygiene amongst other suggested safety measures during the Eid celebration.


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