While addressing reporters in Abuja on Thursday, the PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, warned citizens, especially those with symptoms of COVID-19 against self-medication.
He explained that the anti-malaria drug has not been clinically certified for the treatment of the virus and could have fatal side effects when used.
Mustapha who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) explained;
Through the surveillance system set up by the PTF, we have received reports that Nigerians have been purchasing hydroxychloroquine in large quantities. We wish to reiterate that this drug has not been certified for use in treating COVID-19 in Nigeria by the relevant health and pharmaceutical authorities.
The PTF chairman strongly warned against self-medication, saying;
Self-medication of any kind is fraught with the danger of increasing risks of avoidable casualties. If you are sick, please seek medical advice, and if you are confirmed positive, kindly self-isolate in an approved facility.
He stressed that Nigerians must see COVID-19 as a highly infectious and dangerous disease, reminding citizens that there is still a long way to go in the fight against the pandemic, as warned by World Health Organisation (WHO).
Quoting Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, Mustapha said 106,000 cases were globally recorded in 24 hours, representing the highest single-day number since the outbreak of the pandemic.
According to the SGF, this data shows the existence and potency of coronavirus to some Nigerians who are in doubt.
He urged citizens to desist from spreading false information about the pandemic and join hands in the fight against the virus.
The PTF chairman also apologized to essential service workers who were recently harassed by security officials enforcing the COVID-19 curfew.
For sometimes now, the PTF has consistently answered questions and provided explanations on the categories of persons and services exempted from some aspects of these guidelines particularly, as it relates to restrictions on interstate movement and curfew.
According to him, those exempted from the restrictions are medical personnel, journalists, fire service personnel, telecommunications workers.