Mr Boss Mustapha, Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, has urged researchers and scientists to investigate and do studies on COVID-19, just as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) indicated interest to support initiative.
Mustapha, also Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), made this known at the PTF on COVID-19 daily briefing on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said: “The PTF is happy to note that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has indicated willingness to support research efforts.
“This is, therefore, a call on our researchers and scientists to take up the challenge.’’
The chairman said there was also the need to expand capacity to mitigate implications of the widespread community transmission of COVID-19.
“Above all, more research works to determine the underlying factors for the current trend in the pandemic in Africa are needed,’’ he said.
Mustapha also noted that the occurrences in Kano and some other cities had given cause to launch the country’s research initiatives.
According to him, this is by using existing structures and systems in a manner that will build a legacy, and also prepare Nigeria for any future pandemic.
Mustapha also said that countries in Africa were experiencing a lower COVID-19 rate of transmission, fewer severe cases and deaths than have been predicted.
“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 the 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 must take measure to respond to worst-case situation, while ensuring that continuation of the existing services would certainly stretch the already burdened health systems,” the chairman said.
He said countries in the region must progressively increase their capacity to detect cases, not just to know the extent of the outbreak, but to also identify and initiate care for people most at risk.