Governor Simon Bako Lalong has inaugurated a special committee for research on coronavirus and other Infectious diseases in Plateau State.
In his address during the inauguration of the team at the Government House in Rayfield, Governor Simon Lalong said although the state has had to deal with many infectious diseases in the past, it has not been confronted with anything like the coronavirus pandemic in recent history.
He said: “Indeed, our generation is facing perhaps one of its most difficult times. Clearly, COVID-19 has reminded us of the need to be proactive in not only upgrading our medical facilities and improving manpower but also working ahead to develop the preventive and curative capacity for infectious diseases.”
He charged the members who comprise of researchers from various tertiary institutions within the state, to work hard in utilising the human and material resources available in Plateau State that are capable of giving solutions for the treatment of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 that state and nation are dealing with today.
“It is a known fact that Plateau State is endowed with herbal and medicinal products that could be harnessed towards building our capacity to withstand the threat of diseases such as the coronavirus if, and when they spring up.
“Therefore, we must not only look inwards to find a solution to the current COVID-19 challenge but also use today’s experience to prepare for the future in order to avoid panic and desperation.”
Governor Lalong charged them to be diligent in carrying out this special assignment, and to have at the back of your minds that at the long run, all efforts should lead us towards establishing a modern infectious diseases hospital in Plateau State.
He said the Committee’s Terms of Reference include: Search for conventional and/or alternative drugs for the treatment and cure of the coronavirus, Design treatment protocols for the treatment of the virus, Conduct clinical trials on the candidate drug, Design control mechanism for the spread of the virus and any other design that will curtail the pandemic and subsequent diseases.
The governor pointed out that the committee has one week to present a proposal to the government while the government within three weeks will be expecting a draft of research prospects, while fortnightly; a progress report should be submitted.