President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the presidential task force on COVID-19 to pick up Covid-Organics, Madagascar’s self-proclaimed, plant-based “remedy” for coronavirus.
Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, broke the news at the daily briefing of the task force, which he heads.
He said Madagascar donated some of the products to Nigeria through Guinea-Bissau and arrangements were being made to pick them up.
Madagascar has since been giving away thousands of bottles of the product, developed by the state-run Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, to countries across Africa.
Guinea-Bissau has received more than 16,000 doses, which it is distributing to 14 other African nations, according to reports.
“The president of Madagascar sent it to Guinea Bissau. Certain allocations have been made to different countries. We have an indication of the quantities that have been allocated to Nigeria, and we are supposed to make arrangements to freight it out of Bissau to Nigeria,” he said.
“I have received instructions from Mr President to make arrangements to freight it home.”
He added that there is a clear instruction that the herbs be subjected to checks by relevant authorities in Nigeria.
The “remedy” is a drink derived from artemisia, a plant with proven efficacy in malaria treatment, and other indigenous herbs.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against adopting the product which has not been “taken through tests to see its efficacy”.
“We are concerned that touting this product as a preventive measure might then make people feel safe,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s head in Africa, had said.