Ehanire has said his ministry would formally receive the Madagascar herbal therapy on Wednesday.
He said on receipt of the herbal mixture, his ministry would forward it to NAFDAC and the Nigerian Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) to proceed with further scientific investigation.
Ehanire, who spoke in a Channels Television programme last night, said he had received some proposals from traditional medicine practitioners on local remedies for the virus and that such proposals had been sent to NAFDAC and NIPRD for further investigation.
Answering question on the herbal drug from Madagascar, Ehanire said: “Yes, Madagascar drug is supposed to be handed over to the Ministry of Health at the next working day (Wednesday). That is when we will pick it up and send to our research institutes, first to NAFDAC and then to Nigerian Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD).”
He said the agencies would validate the drug and determine how it could be used for the treatment of COVID-19.
On the rate of infections in Nigeria, the minister stated that Nigeria has not reached its peak.
Ehanire noted the need for Nigerians to take precautions so as to avoid witnessing horrifying figures as occurring in Europe.
He said no drugs or vaccine had been approved yet, adding that the general belief is that vaccines would not be discovered before the next 18 months.
He added that he had forwarded proposals from traditional medicine practitioners to relevant institutions for analysis.
On the Chinese medical team, the minister stated that he went to the airport to receive the 16 tonnes of medical supplies from China and not to receive the medical team as being insinuated.
He explained that it turned out that the Chinese medical team was in the same flight with the medical supplies from China.
He said questions about the Chinese team should be directed to the Ministry of Interior.
The minister said the world has not yet found a curative drug for the virus, adding that “as things stand now, the world is not yet near to finding any cure for the virus.”
Ehanire said there was a new finding that the virus could be discharged when a person shouts, adding that such a development had reemphasised the need for people to ensure social distancing.
On efforts being made at ramping up testing, Ehanire said the ministry was expecting 100,000 cartridges this week for use in operationalising the GeneXpert machines assembled to assist in increasing COVID-19 tests in the country.