Coronavirus: A Ugandan student arrested for claiming to have a COVID-19 cure

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The National Drug Authority together with Police have arrested a Science Technology (Biology) graduate from Kyambogo University who recently wrote to the Ministry of Health claiming he has cure for the deadly coronavirus.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) in Kibuli is currently holding Robert Mijumbi, a Kyambogo University graduate who recently claimed that he can cure Coronavirus.The arrest went down on Tuesday after the CID called Mijumbi for a ‘brief chat’. It was however discovered that the CID acted on the orders of National Drug Authority (NDA).

Police in the company of National Drug Authority (NDA) staff on Wednesday searched what Mujumbi has been claiming to be a laboratory at his residence in Bweyogerere, suburb of Wakiso District.

Robert Mijumbi

However, they didn’t find the laboratory. He was then laid away for further questioning by detectives.

“Don’t trash my creativity, support my ideas for the better,” Mijumbi said before apologizing for using a wrong platform (YouTube) when appealing to government and health institutions to support his initiative.

On April 10, 2020, Mijumbi wrote to the Ministry of Health about his cure for COVID-19. He told the Ministry that he has been secretly doing independent research in the field of molecular medicine and one of his key milestones is discovering the cure for HIV.

Few minutes before he was taken back to Kibuli, Mijumbi told journalists that he wishes to meet President Museveni physically so that he can explain to him more about his research. According to Mijumbi, he will prove his claims of curing Coronavirus if he is given an opportunity.

“It is my request that I have a one on one meeting with the President because he has done a good job when it comes to HIV prevention in Uganda and it would be a good idea for us to have a one on one discussion.” Mijumbi said before he was taken back to CID headquarters in Kibuli.

On Wednesday, NDA also dismissed the said cure and denied having certified it.

“NDA wishes to inform the public that no such drugs have been evaluated and approved by the National Drug Authority for clinical use,” they said in a statement.

“The process of drug discovery involves extensive foundational pre-clinical research that provides unequivocal proof of concept for clinical success of a drug candidate. In Uganda’s context, this level of research is governed by institutional review boards in liaison with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the National Drug Authority,” NDA added.

NDA further reminded the public that there is no known cure for COVID-19 at present.

“The public should be cautious of products that claim to treat or cure COV1D-19. Such products may include foods and food supplements and preparations purporting to be drugs or vaccines. Products that claim to cure, mitigate, treat, diagnose or prevent disease, but are not proven safe and effective for those purposes, are illegal and may lead to serious health hazards, including death; and personal financial loss.”

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