Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State Monday inaugurated a Special Committee for Research into local care for COVID-19.
The governor mandated the committee to come up with a local cure for the dreaded virus and other infectious diseases in the state.
The research team is led by Prof Noel Wannang of the Pharmacology and Toxicology Department of the University of Jos.
While inaugurating the committee in Jos on Monday at the Government House in Rayfield, Lalong noted that although the state has had to deal with many infectious diseases in the past, he said it had not been confronted with any like the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said: “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 a preventive and curative capacity for infectious diseases.
“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.
“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.”
The governor appealed to the members of the committee to be diligent in carrying out the special assignment, and to have at the back of their minds that in the long run, all efforts should lead toward establishing a modern infectious diseases hospital in the state.
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