The Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 (PTF) yesterday cautioned Nigerians against panic buying of Hydrxoychloroquine, insisting that health and pharmaceutical authorities have not yet certified the drug for treatment of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
It apologised to journalists, medical personnel and other essential workers, who have suffered one form of harassment or the other from security agents in the course of carrying out their duties and urged governors to exercise caution in relaxing restrictions in their states.
Chairman of PTF, Boss Mustapha who stated this at the daily media briefing in Abuja, said through the PTF’s surveillance system, it had received reports that Nigerians have been buying Hydrxoychloroquine in large quantities.
Mustapha, who is also Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), cautioned that self-medication was dangerous and could increase risks of avoidable casualties.
“We, therefore strongly warn against self-medication. If you are sick, seek medical advice and if you are confirmed positive, kindly self-isolate in an approved facility. COVID-19 is highly infectious and dangerous.
“We wish to restate that Hydrxoychloroquine has not been certified for treatment of COVID-19 in Nigeria by relevant health and pharmaceutical authorities,” he stressed.
He listed medical workers, journalists, fire service officers and telecommunications employees, as essential workers exempted from the 8pm to 6am curfew nationwide.
He said, “The PTF has consistently answered questions and explained the categories of persons and services exempted from some aspects of the guidelines, particularly as it relates to restrictions on inter-state movement and curfew.”
He urged all essential workers to go about their legitimate businesses, but always carry their valid means of identification and be courteous in approaching security officers.
Meanwhile, the National Economic Council (NEC) has resolved to ensure effective synergy between the Federal Government and the sub-nationals, especially in matters related to the fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This followed its resolutions at its first virtual meeting, which focused on how to effectively reopen the Nigerian economy after the lockdowns across the country.
Chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the NEC, which comprises governors, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and other top government officials, decided to set up a seven-man committee to work with the PTF.
The committee to be headed by Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, also has governors of Lagos, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Plateau states and FCT Minister, as members. Osinbajo said the committee would ensure a more effective collaboration and coordination among the PTF, the states and as the FCT.