THE Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic yesterday spoke on the effort to find a local solution to COVID-19 with three claimants.
“The subject of research has been central to the mandate, thinking and planning of the PTF. Studies have shown that Countries in Africa are so far experiencing a lower rate of transmission, fewer severe cases, and fewer deaths than had been predicted in previous estimates.
“A recent publication by WHO on risk modeling for 47 countries in the Africa Region predicts 82,000-190,000 deaths during the first year of the pandemic. However, African countries need to take measure to respond to this worst-case situation while also ensuring continuation of existing services would certainly stretch our already burdened health systems.
“Countries in the region need to progressively increase their capacity to detect cases, not just to know the extent of the outbreak, but also to identify and initiate care for people most at risk. They also need to expand capacity to mitigate the implications of widespread community transmission of COVID-19.
“Above all, more research to determine the underlying factors for the current trend in the pandemic in Africa is needed. In addition to pursuing this line of thought, the occurrences in Kano and some other cities have given us cause to launch our research initiatives using existing structures and systems in a manner that will build a legacy and also prepare Nigeria for any future pandemic.
“The PTF is happy to note that the Central Bank of Nigeria has indicated the willingness to support research efforts. This is therefore, a call on our researchers and scientists to take up the challenge.
“As a measure of the importance attached to research and development of local capacity for finding a cure to the COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Health held a virtual meeting with a number of researchers and scientists with claims to cure for COVID 19 and out of the numerous claimants, three were found to deserve further investigation and have been forwarded to the relevant authorities for appropriate review.”