Nigeria is not in a hurry to adopt Britain’s new magic drug Dexamethasone to treat COVID-19 patients, even as death toll hit 455 on Tuesday night.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, the agency at the heart of Nigeria’s COVID-19 battle, the country will await some clearance from the World Health Organisation before using the drug.
A team of scientists from Oxford University announced on Tuesday that the £5 drug has been found to be a silver bullet to cure coronavirus.
The drug, which is a steroid, reduces the risk of dying from coronavirus by a third in patients on ventilators.
A major British trial, code-named RECOVERY, declared the drug the biggest breakthrough.
According to reports, dexamethasone was shown to save the lives of a fifth of Covid-19 sufferers with moderate illness receiving oxygen.
The results from the RECOVERY trial suggest the steroid can prevent death in one in eight ventilated coronavirus patients and one in 25 on oxygen.
Dexamethasone, which is given either via an injection or as a once-a-day tablet, becomes the first drug proven to treat the incurable viral disease, according to The Daily Mail.
In a statement on its Twitter handle on Tuesday, the NCDC said it was aware of recent outcomes from a UK-Government funded clinical trial for COVID-19.
“The results support the use of Dexamethasone as a possible treatment to reduce the risk of death among COVID-19 patients, who require oxygen or mechanical ventilation.
“Please note that the Government of Nigeria has not validated or approved any treatment for COVID-19. In addition, the use of Dexamethasone for COVID-19 treatment has not been validated by @WHO
“We are aware of ongoing clinical trials conducted by scientists in the UK and will work with our sister agencies to evaluate this emerging data on the use of Dexamethasone.
“We will inform the general public on outcomes following scientific review and validation”, NCDC said.