G50 initiative commends FG’s foresight in curbing COVID-19 spread
The President, G50 Initiative for Health (GIF-Health), Mr Oni Nelson, on Tuesday commended the Federal Government’s efforts in curbing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Nigeria.
Nelson made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Nelson commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s foresight in signing the enabling law, which institutionalised the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He said, ”worthy of note is the bold step taken by the President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the bill into law for the institutionalisation of NCDC.
“Indeed, the current outbreak would have met us far less prepared had that organisation not been fully positioned.
“Equally commendable is the intention of government to create testing centres across the country in response to the current testing logjam in the few testing centres in Nigeria”.
Nelson challenged scientists in the country to look into the areas of vaccine and drug development.
He advised that the development of test kits was equally important, not just for COVID -19 but for other diseases peculiar to the nation’s clime.
“It is time to make this global scourge count, not just for mortality and morbidity but for patency of vaccine, drugs and test kits.
“It is a fine moment for our scientists to count on quality papers published in revered peer review journals and scholarly grants won internationally and locally.
“These will support breakthrough research on COVID-19 and indeed other diseases of pandemic potentials,” he said.
Nelson added that the recent approval of N100bn loan by the Central Bank of Nigeria for laboratory-based research should serve as incentive for Nigerian scientists.
He said Nigerian scientists must use the opportunity to access funds to establish standard testing, production and calibration laboratories that would not only oust this outbreak but outlive it as in-country research infrastructure.
“The CBN windfall is a commendable policy response by the government to strengthen the Nigeria weak diagnostic and research infrastructure.
“It should thus be seen as the right stimulus for the many research ideas in terms of vaccine development, drug and diagnostic kits development, which had been frustrated due to no funding,” he added.
Nelson said that Nigerians should adhere to government regulations and guidelines spanning from respiratory hygiene to community hygiene and gathering restrictions.
He said that such adherence would facilitate the success of government’s efforts in combating the spread of the virus. (NAN)