Following the recent closure of borders and travel restrictions to check the spread of the Coronavirus, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has now announced that it would ensure emergency approvals for products necessary and critical to support response to the pandemic.
This is part of the control measures put up by the agency to help the country contain the COVID-19.
The information was contained in a statement released by the Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to Adeyeye, the measures would help provide adequate protection for staff and clients of the agency in its position as a regulatory institution, while also helping the country as it combats the novel virus.
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Adeyeye noted that the agency would limit Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) inspections for local facilities at this period, to encourage local production of the critical items.
She added that the conduct of GMP of foreign facilities cannot be undertaken due to the pandemic and the current travel restriction on international travel for public officers, hence application for registration of products deemed to have urgent public health impact would be processed and given conditional approvals.
The agency added that all regulatory processes would continue and NAFDAC remains operational with restricted access in place so that stakeholders could engage via emails and other functional electronic platforms.
“The situation is fast evolving and we will continue to monitor and adjust our responses accordingly. For further information, visit our website: nafdac.gov.ng.
“The agency wishes to assure the public that it remains committed to safeguarding public health and executing its mandate by ensuring that regulated products meet set standards,” Adeyeye said in her statement.
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What this means: This development could see a surge in the number of local manufacturers for products vital to the control of Coronavirus such as hand sanitizers and masks, to make up for the current deficit in supply.
In recent weeks, prices of these vital items have been hiked by sellers, even as buyers scramble to get them at whatever cost. The travel restrictions in several countries, coupled with the panic buying have created an undue scarcity for the items, as families seek to protect themselves.
The number of confirmed cases across the globe continues to surge daily.
As of Tuesday evening, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control announced the confirmation of two new cases, bringing the total figure in Nigeria to 44.