By M. Peter – Jos

Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong has inaugurated a special committee to research on Coronavirus and other infectious diseases in the state.

The Governor who inaugurated the team on Monday at the Government House in Rayfield, 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 disease hence the need to work towards upgrading medical facilities and improving quality of manpower to tackle infectious disease.

Lalong charged the committee to work hard in utilizing the human and material resources available in the State that are capable of giving solutions for the treatment of infectious diseases.

READ : Wike mourns death of his special assistant on media, Simeon Nwakaudu

According to him, “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 preventive and curative capacity for infectious diseases.

“It is a 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 Corona Virus 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.”

He charged the team members who comprise of researchers from various tertiary institutions within the State as well as the State Ministry of Health, to “be diligent in carrying out this special assignment, and 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.”

READ ALSO : Police arrest suspected killer of UNIJOS lecturer

The Committee’s Terms of Reference include: To Search for conventional and/or alternative drugs for the treatment and cure of the Corona virus. Design treatment protocols for the treatment of the virus. Conduct clinical trials on the candidate drug(s). Design control mechanism for the spread of the virus as well as any other design that will curtail the pandemic and subsequent diseases.

The Committee has one week to present a proposal to Government. Within three weeks, Government will be expecting a draft of research prospects, while fortnightly; a progress report should be submitted.

Lead Researcher who is a Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the University of Jos, Noel Wannang said team members would do their best for the good of the society.