Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of NCDC, gave the warning in Abuja on Thursday, while reacting to the recent media reports that suggested that chloroquine could protect people from COVID-19 or treat COVID-19 in patients.
”Nigerians should please remember that the use of chloroquine and its derivatives for the management of COVID-19 disease has not been validated and approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO)”.
”There have been promising results by researchers but until then, the drug is not approved for use for COVID-19 treatment.
”Nigerians should know that self-medication can cause harm and lead to death.
“Do not misuse drugs. We understand these are challenging times, and Nigerians may be worried, but the Federal Ministry of Health(FMoH), through the NCDC is doing everything it can to continue to ensure the safety and health security of every Nigerian.
“Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have not been licensed to treat COVID-19 related symptoms or prevent infection,” he said.
The NCDC boss said that clinical trials were still ongoing to test chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as an agent in the treatment of COVID-19 or to prevent COVID-19 infection.
He said that these clinical trials were still not completed, so no conclusions have been reached on the safety and effectiveness of this medicine to treat or prevent COVID-19.
He said that until the WHO, have clear, definitive evidence that these treatments were safe and effective for the treatment of COVID-19, it should not be misused.
In addition to responding to the outbreak, NCDC has begun a communications campaign to debunk misinformation and provide Nigerians with facts to protect their health.
NAN reports that the breakdown of COVID-19 cases by states in the country shows that Lagos State still has the highest number of confirmed cases in the country with 32 cases, followed by Abuja with 10 cases, Ogun State three, and Ekiti, Oyo Edo, Bauchi Osun and Rivers have one case each.
Most of the cases reported are travellers who have just returned to the country. Other cases are people who have come in contact with infected people.