The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonanya Onu, has said the United States is conducting tests on a chemical compound isolated by the ex-Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Maurice Iwu, as a possible cure for coronavirus.
Onu said this against the backdrop of a misinformation that Iwu and his team at the Bioresource Centre had found the cure for coronavirus.
Onu dismissed such reports.
He said Iwu’s initial finding was that the compound could cure SARS.
Onu said: “They are testing it in the US to confirm whether this could be a cure for Covid -19 or SARS.”
Iwu had on March 2, 2020 presented the report of the finding of his team to Onu.
He told the Minister that the purpose of his visit was to formally brief him on his team’s efforts toward finding a treatment for the Wuhan Coronavirus.
He disclosed that the lead drug discovery project included the chemical isolation and characterisation of naturally occurring compounds and subjecting them to bioassays for the identification of potentially useful-drug-led molecules.
He said the approach was the use of a network of eminent scientists and leading laboratories to target particular disease, especially neglected tropical, emergent and orphan diseases.
He also said those included leishmaniasis, Ebola virus, dengue fever virus, chikungunya virus, coronavirus and tacaribe virus.
He said he came to ask for assistance from Nigerians on the project.