WHO: Trial for COVID-19 drug has started in Nigeria

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the solidarity trial for a drug to treat COVID-19 has commenced in Nigeria.

Speaking on Friday at the joint national briefing of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19, Fiona Braka, officer in charge of WHO in Nigeria, however, said the trials are still at an early stage.

In April, Nigeria had expressed interest to be part of the global solidarity drug trial to combat the disease which has infected close to 6,000 people in the country and 4.8 million globally.

Braka said while the process has commenced in some states in the country, it is yet to start in other states.

“This is a large multi-country effort that is going on globally. And we are picking up that trial in Nigeria; some states have started, some are yet to start,” she said.

“The whole idea is that the large pool of information across the countries will be systematically analysed at global level in addition to what is coming from other countries; carefully analysed and guidance provide to countries on which formulation is more effective.”

The WHO official said the drugs being tested are not new, but the ones already manufactured.

“They are simply being repurposed for the intention of determining their effects on the COVID virus,” she said.

“We will continue to keep you updated on what the timeline will look like but we are still quite early in the process in the collection of data.”

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