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Australian Scientists Claim To Have Found Existing Drug That Kills COVID-19 In 48 Hours

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Scientists in Australia have claimed to have found an already existing drug that kills COVID-19 in the laboratory within 48 hours.

The drug, Ivermectin, is used to treat head lice and is available all over the world.

Researchers at Monash University claimed that a single dose of Ivermectin stops the SARS-CoV-2 virus growing in cell culture.

But the research is in its early stages and Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug, has not yet been tested on persons infected with COVID-19.

According to British tabloid Daily Mail, the next step is for scientists to determine the correct human dosage, to make sure the level used in vitro is safe for humans.

The scientists warned that it could take at least a month before human trials start.

‘We found that even a single dose could essentially remove all viral RNA (effectively removed all genetic material of the virus) by 48 hours and that even at 24 hours there was a really significant reduction in it,’ Daily Mail quotes Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute’s Dr Kylie Wagstaff as saying last Friday.

He added: “In times when we’re having a global pandemic and there isn’t an approved treatment if we had a compound that was already available around the world then that might help people sooner.

“Realistically it’s going to be a while before a vaccine is broadly available.’

The study is the work of Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity.

Ivermectin was discovered in 1975 and came into medical use in 1981.

It is on the World Health Organization (WHO’s) List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system.

The wholesale cost in the developing world for the tablets is about US$0.12 for a course of treatment.
Ivermectin is available around the world in its trade names Stromectol and Soolantra cream.

It has been used since the 1980s to treat and prevent diseases related to parasites in humans, pets, and livestock, and works by paralyzing invertebrate parasites.

Ivermectin is also a second-line treatment for scabies.

The pharmaceutical company that makes Ivermectin, MSD, has also been donating the drug to developing countries to treat the parasitic diseases river blindness and elephantiasis for the past 30 years.

When used at the recommended dose, Ivermectin is generally well tolerated. Some of the common side effects include diarrhoea, nausea, dizziness and drowsiness.

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Nigeria Yet To Receive Ventilators From US, A Month After Trump’s Promise — FG

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The federal government says it is yet to receive ventilators from the US.

On April 28, US President Donald Trump, during a telephone conversation with President Muhammadu Buhari, promised to send ventilators to support Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

Speaking at the presidential task force briefing on Thursday, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, said the ventilators are yet to arrive in Nigeria.

He said there is no specific date for the arrival of the medical items, and that the information will be made public once the ventilators are received.

“On when the ventilators promised by President Trump will arrive, to the best of my knowledge, they have not arrived. When they do arrive it will be made known to the public,” he said.

On the efforts made by the information ministry in curbing the spread of COVID-19, Mohammed said there has been increased community sensitization against the disease.

He said there has been a series of jingles played on radio stations to enhance rural engagements.

“In addition, we also have support from 40 community and campus radio stations across the country awaiting our jingles,” he said.

“Our aggressive and sustained campaign on the Social Media has gained traction, in the last five days alone some of the videos we posted have been viewed over one million times.”

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Buhari Came To ‘Steal, Kill, Destroy’ —- Fani-Kayode

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A former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has described the five years of President Muhammadu Buhari as “disastrous.”

He disagreed with Special Adviser to Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, whose weekly column argued the President’s emergence, saved the nation from collapse in 2015.

Fani-Kayode, on his verified twitter handle, said Buhari’s emergence has plunged the nation into a deeper abyss.

Responding directly to Adesina’s tweet, the former Minister said: “Not so my friend. The emergence of Buhari in 2015 annihilated Nigeria and plunged her into darkness, death, and destruction.

“He came to steal, kill and destroy and for the last disastrous 5 years that is all he has done.”

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BIG STORY

Lagos BRT Increases Fares By 50%

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Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Primero Transport Services Limited, operators of the Bus Rapid Transport, have said fares will increase by about 50 percent.

The company on Thursday said it got approval from the regulator of the sector, the Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, to increase the fares.

Earlier, the News Agency of Nigeria reported that the company withdrew its services on Monday due to losses caused by the new guidelines of government which restricted the number of commuters on BRT to 20 per trip instead of 70.

The BRT Managing Director, Mr Fola Tinubu, told NAN that the management of the company would resolve the issues after a meeting with the government.

After the meeting, Tinubu said an agreement had been reached for the fares to be increased.

He said, “We are going to increase our pricing effective from Friday, May 29 (today). We agreed on this after our talk with the Lagos State Government.

“Everywhere commuters are paying N200 for a trip, it is going to be N300 and everywhere commuters are paying N300 per trip, it is going to be N500.

“We are increasing our fares. We have secured the permission of the regulator, Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority.”

He said the number of passengers on the buses would also be increased to 42, with no passenger standing on buses as against 20 earlier approved by the government.

The LAMATA External Relations Specialist, Kola Ojelabi, confirmed the development.

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