EMERGENCY: Nigeria flies in Bangladesh COVID-19 drug, Remdesivir, for infected governor

The remdesivir mixture

A chattered flight from Nigeria has taken delivery of COVID-19 drug, remdesivir, from Bangladesh, for the treatment of an infected Nigerian governor.

The special chartered flight left Abuja for Dhaka on Sunday, to collect a small dose of the Bangladesh-produced anti-viral drug, remdesivir, to be administered for the state governor.

An official with Dhaka’s government had confirmed the development.

The plane took off, returning back to Nigeria, nearly 20 minutes after landing at Bangladesh’s major airport in Dhaka in the evening carrying 36 vials of the drug and some medical protective gear made by Bangladeshi companies, Foreign Ministry spokesman Touhidul Islam, had said.

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“The Nigerian government sent the chartered plane to collect the drug to treat one of its governors affected by coronavirus,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.

At least 342 people with the Covid-19 disease have died in Nigeria, a West African country, where 12,233 cases of novel coronavirus have been confirmed up to Sunday.

As gathered, the arrangement was made following a phone conversation Saturday between Nigerian Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, and his Bangladeshi counterpart, Abul Kalam Abdul Momen, according to the statement.

According to Bangladeshi foreign ministry, Nigeria is interested in importing the drug from Bangladesh subject to its efficacy.

Two Bangladeshi companies, had, last month produced the first generic version of the remdesivir, which was developed and patented by Gilead Sciences in the US.

Remdesivir is currently being tested as a possible treatment for Covid-19, the potentially deadly disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

A Nigerian team collected 25 vials of the drug produced by Eskayef Pharmaceuticals Limited and 11 vials by Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited, Kabir Ahmed Bhuiya, a businessman who supplied the drug and the equipment samples, had said.