By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Days after Gulu University scientists led by Dr Alice Veronica Lamwaka announced that they had invented Covilyce-1 saying it had cured over 100 Covid-19 patients, the National Drug Authority (NDA) has issued an order to the varsity administration to cease production of the herb citing that it is not yet approved.
“Our team is on the ground to stop the production of the drug and also to investigate where it is being produced because the university does not have a factory to produce the drug but they only have a laboratory,” said Mr Abiaz Rwamwiri, the NDA spokesperson.
According to Dr. Alice Lamwaka, a senior lecturer at the University’s PharmBiotec, the herbs which come in form of powder, nasal drops, (anal) suppositories and (syrup) linctus that were formulated from eight different herbs, were not tested but were subjected to phytochemical analysis to find out what active ingredients are present in them and what diseases they can cure.
She said they formulated the four products basing on their knowledge of herbs used in treating infections especially during epidemics and the fact that they already have a unit for traditional medicines at the University.
Dr. Lamwaka claimed that the herbs can cure a user with signs and symptoms of Covid-19 between 12-72 hours of getting treatment. Those with mild symptoms of Covid-19, she said, are given the nasal drops in their mouth, ears, and nose and get well between 12-72 hours.
Patients whose infections have gone to their chest use the linctus which goes down through the systemic circulation. Those with co-morbidities, Covid-19, hypertension, asthma, ulcers, and diabetes, use the powder in combination with the linctus and nasal drops and cut off viral infection within 12 hours. Then patients who are unconscious, can’t swallow, on oxygen, or have difficulty breathing, use the suppository which is administered via the rectum.
Dr. Lamwaka said the good feedback from the community that the products work even on severely ill patients motivated the team to prepare all the different formulations.
Currently, the university is using the more than 200 traditional herbalists that got trained at the faculty to administer the herbs to Covid-19 patients in the community.
However, Michael Mutyaba who heads the traditional medicines division at National Drugs Authority-NDA, said he was not aware of the production of any Covid-19 herbs by the University thus dispatching a team to investigate the entire production process.