The headline of an article circulating on social media claims that the Nigerian government has found a cure for Covid-19.
“Finally, Nigerian Government Finds Cure For Covid-19,” it reads. The article has been shared on Facebook more than 1,200 times and debated in close to 100 comments.
Nigeria had nearly 6,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 by 18 May 2020. Has the country now found a cure for the disease?
The article itself does not mention a Covid-19 “cure”. It is about a memo from the permanent secretary of the federal health ministry, Abdulaziz Abdullahi, to the director general of the Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye.
The memo discusses a medicine for the coughs of Covid-19 patients. Dated 28 April, it is titled: “Formulation of a phyto medicine cough mixture/syrup for the management of Covid-19 patients by Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department of the ministry.”
It was widely reported in Nigeria’s mainstream media. The memo says the “Cov-herbal cough mixture” is made of garlic, onions, ginger, West African black pepper and baobab fruit.
The memo doesn’t claim the mixture can cure Covid-19. It only suggests the medicine can help manage the coughs of Covid-19 patients.
No cure for Covid-19 has yet been found. The World Health Organization says: “While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of mild Covid-19, there are no medicines that have been shown to prevent or cure the disease.”
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