Speaking recently, the President of the PSN, Pharm. Sam Ohuabunwa revealed that extending the waiver to every essential drug is key because there is no established treatment protocol all over the world for the novel coronavirus.
According to him, the fact that some residents are still on lockdown means there is reduced cash to buy drugs, so the government has to step in.
He added that the most vulnerable for COVID-19 infection are the old Nigerians who already have underlying chronic diseases that affordable drugs can help with.
His words, “Nigerians who are on lockdown have reduced disposable income to buy medicines. The government is giving food palliative but no medicine palliative. Removing duties and levies on all essential medicines will be one way to provide a medical palliative for the Nigerian poor.
“Finally, the most vulnerable for COVID-19 infection, the aged population, already have some underlying chronic diseases and are on essential medicines like antidiabetics, antihypertensive, and anticancer medications.”
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Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that can be mild, such as some cases of the common cold (among other possible causes, predominantly rhinoviruses), and others that can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Symptoms in other species vary: in chickens, they cause an upper respiratory tract disease, while in cows and pigs they cause diarrhea. There are yet to be vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.
Coronaviruses constitute the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae, in the family Coronaviridae, order Nidovirales, and realm Riboviria. They are enveloped viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome and a nucleocapsid of helical symmetry. The genome size of coronaviruses ranges from approximately 27 to 34 kilobases, the largest among known RNA viruses. The name coronavirus is derived from the Latin corona, meaning “crown” or “halo”, which refers to the characteristic appearance reminiscent of a crown or a solar corona around the virions (virus particles) when viewed under two-dimensional transmission electron microscopy, due to the surface covering in club-shaped protein spikes.
Human coronaviruses were first discovered in the late 1960s. The earliest ones discovered were an infectious bronchitis virus in chickens and two in human patients with the common cold (later named human coronavirus 229E and human coronavirus OC43). Other members of this family have since been identified, including SARS-CoV in 2003, HCoV NL63 in 2004, HKU1 in 2005, MERS-CoV in 2012, and SARS-CoV-2 (formerly known as 2019-nCoV) in 2019. Most of these have involved serious respiratory tract infections.
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