A Virologist, Dr Olubusuyi Adewumi, in an interview has urged indigenous researchers to look into the fast mutating new Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) to provide ways on how to curb the spread in Nigeria.
Adewumi, a Senior Lecturer at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, made the call today in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The Virologist said that the strain of the new Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in Nigeria might be different from the one currently ravaging the western population and that researching the virus would help to understand how to contain the spread in the country.
“The key lessons for this pandemic response is not only to act fast, but act locally.
“Though, we have cases similar to COVID-19 here; there is need to confirm that we are dealing with the same strain of the virus.
“The virus (SARS-CoV-2) is an RNA virus, hence prone to mutations that eventually results in variants.
“In fact, it has been shown in a study recently that infected individuals within Wuhan had variants of the virus in their bodies.
“Variance in death rates here could mean we have a different variant or strain of the virus circulating here.
“We are learning more about the virus daily, the reason we need to do more research here, rather than take everything from the developed world hook line and sinker.
“Local research into the virus will also enable us to contribute to the global efforts aimed at combating the pandemic,” he said.
Adewumi talked about the need for improved infectious disease surveillance system, noting that the rapid increase in the number of Coronavirus cases was due to poor contact tracing and monitoring.
He also noted that exposure to high temperature will only destroy the virus outside of an host.
“Warm climate or heat will only affect the virus, while outside susceptible host.
“So, the virus gets inactivated faster because of the dry and hot weather only when outside the host. Once in the host the weather has little effect on it,” he said.