COVID-19: WHO Can Only Provide Guidelines, Not Dictate To Us – FG

The Federal Government has said the World Health Organisation (WHO) should stick to providing guidelines and not dictating to countries measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The government’s position was expressed by Olorunnimbe Mamora, Minister of State for Health at the daily press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Wednesday, in reaction to the country’s continuation of the hydroxychloroquine trial.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Sunday announced that it was suspending its solidarity trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns of patients.
However, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) the following day said Nigeria would continue the trial, insisting that it has been effective in treating COVID-19 patients, especially those at the mild stage of infection.
Responding to a question on whether Nigeria was neglecting the directive of the WHO, Mamora stated that the global health agency is only expected to provide guidelines, which will be domesticated by various countries according to their specific needs.
He said: “We are still working on drugs. Don’t forget that even the hydroxychloroquine is still being worked on as we speak. It’s important for us to make it clear that the WHO does not dictate to countries as to what to do.
“They only provide guidance and guidelines, not dictate, because the reality is that each country is expected to look at those realities on ground and leave room for innovation, flexibility and adaptation as dictated by the realities on ground in each country.
“So we’re still looking at the issues of drugs; we are still looking at the issues of vaccine as well, also in the areas of research.”
The minister said the Federal Government is working based on science, evidence and research in containing the spread of the virus.
“One of the researches that has come out of our own situation is establishing that what we have here is the same strain in Wuhan,” he said.

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