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Fed Govt engages TETfund, NUC to conduct research on COVID-19

From Moses Emorinken, Abuja

The Federal Government will engage the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) and the National Universities Commission (NUC) to boost its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, stated this on Thursday in Abuja during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 control.

But the government ruled out giving funds for research on the Coronavirus disease.

Ihekweazu said: “Over the past few days, we are beginning to focus more on the research side of things. We have brought together TETFund and the NUC under the leadership of the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Adeleke Mamora, to start thinking of what the research priorities are for us in Nigeria and how we can drive these researches.

“This is not just in the long-term but also in the short-term and about how we can use this to improve our own guidelines as well as training and become a point of reference for our own response. We are participating in the World Health Organisation (WHO) solidarity trial.

“We have shared our initial sequencing of the first viruses and many colleagues are doing a lot more on that. We have just started a study called the first few hundred cases in a protocol adapted from WHO’s protocol which we will share with many other countries.

“The NCDC is working with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), the Nigeria Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Centre for Human Virology and Geonomics, Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and many others in the academic sphere to start thinking about how we can develop our response further…”

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