The Federal Government has announced a plan to engage the National Universities Commission (NUC) and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) in a joint effort against COVID-19 pandemic.
Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, informed the Presidential Task Force (PTF) COVID-19 control unit on the development during the daily press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
Although the government ruled out giving funds for research on the Coronavirus disease, Ihekweazu said:
“Over the past few days, we are beginning to focus more on the research side of things. We have brought together TETFund and the NUC under the leadership of the Minister of State for Health, Dr Adeleke Mamora, to start thinking of what the research priorities are for us in Nigeria and how we can drive these researches”.
“We have shared our initial sequencing of the first viruses and many colleagues are doing a lot more on that. We have just started a study called the first few hundred cases in a protocol adapted from WHO’s protocol which we will share with many other countries”.
“The NCDC is working with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), the Nigeria Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Centre for Human Virology and Genomics, Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and many others in the academic sphere to start thinking about how we can develop our response further”