Kenyan researchers to determine if herbal Herpes drug could cure COVID-19


Kenyan researchers to determine if herbal Herpes drug could cure COVID-19
Dr. Frestus Tolo is leading a team of researchers who are burning the midnight oil in search of a local COVID-19 cure. Photo: VOA

Kenya has joined a growing list of countries across the world that are burning the mid-night oil in search of a coronavirus cure.

At the moment, the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), East Africa’s leading medical research facility, is testing the efficacy of a herbal medicine known as Zedupex.

Zedupex which was developed by Kenyan researchers in 2015 has been used to effectively treat Herpes.

Dr. Frestus Tolo is leading a team of researchers in conducting research to determine Zedupex is the missing puzzle piece needed to decimate the novel coronavirus.

“We are still at a very early stage and cannot really make conclusions since Herpes is a DNA virus and Coronavirus is an RNA virus, more research is needed to determine whether this regimen would work,” Tolo told Voice of America.

Rudi Eggers, a doctor working with WHO however said it may be an uphill task to standardize the herbal treatment

“Herbal cures have varied levels of components and you would need to know in what levels these components are before you embark on evaluating these cures,” Eggers said during an interview with VOA.

Dr. Kefa Bosire from the University of Nairobi Pharmacy School is sceptical about the idea of a herbal cure as mass production may be a hurdle based on availability of ingredients on a short notice.

The concerns have however not deterred researchers from pitching tent and burning the midnight oil in getting a local cure.

Kenya has so far recorded 1162 cases of the coronavirus, 380 recoveries and 50 fatalities.

Elsewhere, WHO has signed deal to formulate herbal coronavirus ‘cure’ that has been fronted by Madagascar as a possible cure for the global pandemic.

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina recently said trials of the Artemisia plant, the main component of Covid Organics (CVO) were ongoing.

Known under the scientific name of Artemesia Annua, the plant of Chinese origin was first imported to Madagascar in the 1970s to treat malaria.

So far, Madagascar has sent CVO to several African countries including Comoros Island, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Niger, Tanzania, Nigeria, Senegal and Chad.

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