The Nigerian government has warned that it would henceforth close any private hospitals and other health facilities that treat COVID-19 patients without authorisation.
In various cities there have been mounting concerns about the danger to public health, the growing number of private health care providers managing infected persons without accreditation.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, responded to these concerns during last Friday’s media briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, saying the federal government would come down heavily on any unauthorised facility offering treatment to infected patients.
He added that the focus now is to carry out more community testing and social mobilisation at the grassroots to ensure physical distancing.
The Nigerian government also assured citizens that part of its efforts at combating the virus included budgetary provision for research into finding a vaccine.
Speaking at the press briefing, the Chairman of the PTF on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, stated that the federal government had a budget for research into a possible discovery of a vaccine for the virus.
Mustapha said the federal government was carrying out the research through a partnership with the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research.
He explained that all countries, including those from the West, are also joining the effort to seek a cure for the virus.
He said: “Every country is mixing whatever they can mix. Here in Africa and in Nigeria in particular, we would use a little bit of the Nigerian sense, like the Minister of Aviation said here that in his part of the country where he comes from, people are saying they can eat some fruits, they can swallow some things. But that is not scientifically proven. We would do the needful in terms of proper medical research to see if Nigeria can have a leeway or headway in getting to a creation or invention of a vaccine or a combination of drugs that can be curative in dealing with coronavirus.
“But as of now, there is no cure that is proven scientifically; there is no vaccine in the market that can be administered. All we are doing is to put in place a non-pharmaceutical initiative and the medical cure that can be given to those that have been infected.”