Some scientists at the University of Ibadan have recommended a plant called Euphorbia Hirta as a herbal alternative to mitigating some of the diseases associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the scientists, some of the diseases, which the plant can cure, include dry cough, respiratory failures and fever, among others.
The scientists, including Profs. Ademola Ladele and Rasheed Awodoyin, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Tuesday that the Euphorbia Hirta was commonly called Asthma plant.
Awodoyin, a Weed Ecologist, said that the plant was known as Asin Uloko in Edo, Nonon Kurciya in Hausa, Chamma Chamma in Kanuri, Endamyel in Fula-Fulfulde (Borno), Ba Ala in Owerri and Akun Esan in Yoruba.
He listed the scientists who worked on the plant to include Prof. Olaniyi Babayemi (Animal Scientist), Prof. Olapeju Aiyelaagbe (Chemist), Dr Ahmed Abu (Animal Scientist), Dr Adeoluwa (Organic Agriculturist), Dr Olajumoke Fayinminnu (Toxicologist) and Dr Funmilayo Adebiyi (Animal Scientist).
Others, the don said, were Dr Idayat Gbadamosi (Ethnobotanist) and Dr J. Badejo (Drug Development Specialist) and Prof. Ademola Ladele (Agricultural Extensionist).
He said that the plant was a herbal alternative to curing dry cough, respiratory failures, fever and some other related symptoms of chronic flu, all of which were associated with COVID-19.
Awodoyin told NAN that the plant, after being boiled, could be taken as tea and could serve as first aid treatment for dry cough, while further complex solutions to the pandemic could still be explored.
He said that the scientists were sparked up by shared information that mucus plug of the airways and nasal chamber, among others were the causes of seizure and death from COVID-19.
“Asthma plant tea softens dry cough, releases the mucus as phlegm. It is a safe herb tea, though not recommended for pregnant women and should be taken for six consecutive days.
“Just get a handful of the plant, steep in boiling water for 15 minutes, drink freely, as the taste is pleasant. I use it at my family level. I don’t even use it for more than three days before getting immediate result,” Awodoyin said.
He emphasised that such medicinal plants had curative actions due to the presence of complex chemical constituents.
According to him, the plant contains triterpenes, phytosterols, tannins, polyphenols, flavonoids, essential oil, alkaloids, saponins, amino acids and minerals, with quercitrin, a flavanoid glycoside, isolated from the herb, showing anti-diarrhea activity.
Also speaking, the leader of the scientists, Prof. Ademola Ladele, said asthma plant could also be used in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders (diarrhea, dysentery, intestinal parasitosis,) as well as bronchial and respiratory diseases (asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, flu).
“The aqueous extract from the plant exhibits anxiolytic, analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory activities; the root decoction of the plant are also beneficial for nursing mothers deficient in milk (galactogogue).
“The aqueous extract shows antioxidant effect and a free radical scavenging activity. It is used to lower blood pressure, treat athletes foot, dengue fever and for production of blood platelets.
“It can also be used to relieve anxiety and stress. In South India, it is used as ear drops in the treatment of boils, sore and wounds; a decoction of the leaves induces milk flow and the leaf chewed with palm kernel for restoration of virility.
“It is also effective in treating ulcers, while the plant is also eaten as a vegetable; it is a powerful herb which should be used in moderation.
“In Benin City, the plant is pounded, mixed with palm oil and licked to treat any type of cough,” he said.
Ladele added that although the plant was reported to have anti-fertility activity, report from Guinea revealed that the plant extract had practically no toxicity towards man and guinea pigs.
According to him, using the plant may help COVID-19 patients to breathe with ease and remove the need for a ventilator for mild cases.
“There is no evidence yet that asthma plant can cure Coronavirus, but it can be useful in mitigating some of the symptoms like fever, coughing and respiratory challenges.
“A research group at the University of Ibadan is exploring the benefits of other similar plants for the adequate cure of chronic flu and other respiratory diseases, including COVID-19,” he said.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq
FG to engage community volunteers for house-to-house sensitisation on COVID-19 – Minister
Ehanire said that the ministry was working with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, (NPHCDA) to finalise plans on the engagement of existing community volunteers and agents to conduct house to house sensitisation on COVID-19 at the community level.
“A team from the FMoH, led by the ED of NPHCDA and comprising doctors from Departments of Family Health, Hospital Services and Public Health and NCDC, is in Lagos on an appraisal visit, during which a situation analysis will be conducted.
“The team will also visit the contiguous Ogun State on the same mission. The visits are in continuation of similar useful initiatives in the past to Kano, Katsina Sokoto, Jigawa, Gombe, and Borno, to share experience and ideas, align strategy and support each other,” he said.
The minister said that the ministry would continue to advocate for states to strengthen their response activities and have begun a program to strengthen the capacity of all Federal Health Institutions in Nigeria to deal with COVID-19 challenges in their States by additional training, supplies and equipment.
He said that the Federal Medical Centre Lokoja and University of Calabar Teaching Hospital would be prioritized for the deployment of Gene Xpert machines as soon as the test kits were validated by the Medical Laboratory Science Council.
He said this so that residents in Kogi and Cross River, among others, would no longer have a shortage of opportunity to be tested.
“Our observation is that states are at varying levels of readiness and it is important to re-strategise to meet all citizens at their points of need.
“All nations are working together and I urge all State authorities in Nigeria to accept the reality and also work with each other and Federal Government, and play their part in the strategy to keep the people safe.
He, however said that as the President advised that it was best to be fully prepared even if Nigerians do not have to use it.
“The FCT, for example, is no longer under bed space pressure, having been well supported with assets to meet all levels of care, security and needs,” he said.
Ehanire said that there would therefore be no reason for a COVID-19 positive person to be outside a designated Isolation and Treatment centre, especially with the ThisDay Dome Isolation centre ready to take cases.
He noted that it would be headed, in the introductory phase, by the Medical Director of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, one of the most experienced virus disease hospitals in Nigeria.
He also said the FCT managed Idu COVID-19 treatment centre wih 500 beds ready.
“More than 13,000 health workers have been trained, which will result in reduced rate of infection, especially in the line of duty. We are collaborating with States to cascade the training to lower cadre workers.
“After consultation with top Nigerian scientists of the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee, I am advised that Nigeria has something to add to the body of knowledge around these trials.
“I have therefore approved the continuation of the trial, as recommended, under strong precautionary conditions to be built into it,” he said.
According to him, the leadership of the Ministry also had the first briefing with the Ministerial Advisory Panel of Experts on Monday and received a series of very useful advisories that will be discussed and shared with Heads of Agencies and Departments of the Ministry.
“Finally, as we move into the next phase of easing of the lockdown, I urgently call on all, to take responsibility for ensuring that we actively play our role in ensuring that COVID-19 does not spike or bounce up, as has been observed in many countries where lockdown was relaxed.
“It is important to bear in mind that this phase, more than the lockdown itself, is in the hands of the people, more than in the hand of government.
“We must fight the spread of the disease by adhering more strictly than ever, to the various social guidelines which have been announced, published and publicized,” he advised.
“Wear your mask on your face, not under your chin; it has no value under your chin.
“Be very sensitive about respiratory hygiene, wash hands regularly, use sanitizers and observe physical distancing. Open your windows to let in fresh air whenever it is safe to do so,” he said.
New Zealand reveals details for relaxed COVID-19 rules as country returning to normal
Restrictions on businesses will be removed under COVID-19 Alert Level 1, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern explained the details on Wednesday as New Zealanders are seeing their lives returning to normal.
Strict border controls will still remain, Ardern said, adding restrictions on hospitality businesses, gatherings and community sport will be lifted.
Ardern stressed coughing etiquette because risks remain as New Zealand heads into winter with more asymptomatic transmission.
The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 is unchanged at 1,481, he said, adding the situation was “hugely satisfying.”
Finland announces record-high supplementary budget to counteract COVID-19 impact
The Finnish government on Tuesday announced a record-high supplementary budget of 5.5 billion euros (6.16 billion U.S. dollars) to counteract the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Finance Minister Katri Kulmuni said.
With this budget, the debt taken by the government this year increased to 18.8 billion euros (21.04 billion dollars), Kulmuni said at a press conference.
The government also decided to extend the target timing of stabilizing the ratio between public debt and gross domestic product from 2023 to 2030, Kulmuni said, adding that the longer time frame would ease the pressure.
The senior official said Finnish universities will be authorized to add 4,800 students to this year’s enrollment.
According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland confirmed a total of 6,887 COVID-19 infections by Tuesday afternoon, with 320 virus-related deaths and at least 5,500 recoveries.
The country reopened restaurants and cafes on Monday, with opening hours shortened and capacity of service halved. The new restrictions are supposed to stay until the end of October.
COVID-19: Edo NMA donates support items to UBTH
Presenting the materials, the state NMA Chairman, Dr Valentine Omoifo, appreciated the UBTH management for protecting health workers while ensuring adequate healthcare even in the face of the pandemic.
This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen by the branch NMA Public Relations Officer, Dr Eustace Oseghale, on Tuesday in Benin.
The association assured that presentation of such items to UBTH would be sustained.
“This would be a continuous thing as more personal protective equipments and other materials will be provided to UBTH soon,” it said.
Obaseki informed them that the hospital gates remained open and the hospital currently has about 400 in patients.
“Though this is telling on the hospital revenue as materials to protect staff and patients are now very expensive,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items presented included cacatin face shields, face masks, sanitiser, washing soap and gloves.
14 new COVID-19 cases reported in Libya, 182 in total
The Libyan National Center for Disease Control on Tuesday reported 14 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in Libya to 182, including 52 recoveries and five deaths.
In a statement later Tuesday, the center said it received a total of 504 suspected samples, 490 of which tested negative and 14 positive.
Libyan authorities have taken a series of protective measures against the coronavirus, which include closing the country’s borders, banning public gatherings, and imposing a curfew.
Libya announced its first COVID-19 case in March and the first death in June.
Nigeria records 241 new cases of COVID-19, total Infections hit 10,818
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday said it has recorded 241 new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country, taking the total number of infections in Nigeria to 10,818.
The health agency stated that most of those who died were associated with co-morbidities, noting that three out of four of those who have been discharged were without co-morbidities.
It said this was consistent with the fact that risks were higher for those with other illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and other chronic non-communicable diseases.
The NCDC said that there was general reduction in mortality trend and continuous improvement in recoveries as shown in discharges compared to the increase in number of confirmed cases.
It stated that no new state have reported a case in the last 24 hours.
According to the body, till date, 10,819 cases have been confirmed, 7,266 of active cases, 3,239 cases have been treated and discharged, 314 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The NCDC said that the 241 new cases were reported from 14 states – Lagos(142), Oyo(15), FCT(13), Kano(12), Edo(11), Delta(10), Kaduna(9), Rivers(9), Borno(8), Jigawa(4), Gombe(3), Plateau(3), Osun(1) and Bauchi(1).
NCDC said that it was important for Nigerians to remember that there were humans behind the numbers.
Five months later, the disease continues to affect people in countries across the globe.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Chile’s COVID-19 cases top 108,000, with 1,188 deaths
A record 3,527 new cases of infection were detected in the past day, the highest single-day tally yet since the outbreak began here three months ago, and 75 more patients died.
The vast majority of the new cases, 3,206, showed symptoms, while 321 were asymptomatic.
Chile’s outbreak began slowly but has recently picked up pace, leading authorities to extend lockdown measures past their end of May deadline to June 5, especially in the capital Santiago and metropolitan area, home to 7 million people.
Lagos records 17 COVID-19 related deaths in 2 days
Abayomi stated this in his verified twitter handle on Tuesday, adding that the deaths were recorded on Monday, June 1.
Currently, the total COVID-19 related deaths in Lagos now stands at 67.
Abayomi, however, did not give additional information about the sex, age, nationality or medical conditions of the deceased.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
COVID-19: Lagos discharges 30 Nigerians, 3 Indians
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said in a statement that a total of 908 COVID-19 patients were now discharged.
”Good people of Lagos, I bring you great news from our isolation facilities. Today, 33 fully recovered COVID-19 Lagos patients; 7 females and 26 males including 3 foreign nationals – Indians -have been discharged to join the society.
”With this, the number of patients successfully managed and discharged from our Isolation facilities is now 908.
”As our frontline health workers records successes in this battle against #COVID-19, we urge citizens to adhere strictly to our public advisories and directives, as this is the only way we can break the chain of transmission of the infection,” Sanwo-Olu said.
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- Spain set to introduce tax on single-use plastics
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- COVID-19: WHO advises govts to ease lockdowns in systematic step-by-step approach
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