Consequent upon the fast-spreading Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the federal and state governments to strengthen emergency response mechanisms to tackle the new disease.
NLC President Ayuba Wabba, while addressing journalists yesterday, said the actions of government would be critical in containing the worldwide pandemic.
He added that states should also set up disease surveillance activities, stressing that Nigeria should see the COVID-19 pandemic as a challenge to revamp and reposition healthcare facilities and system.
Wabba said the congress has also decided to come out with its own worker-based strategy to complement the national strategy put in place to tackle the novel virus.
“A worker-based strategy is necessary given that workers are at the frontline of the risk given their exposure at points of entry or departure, or hospitals or any other place of interest. In the face of COVID-19, workers are also exposed to secondary risks such as threats of loss of jobs or actual job losses.
He said, “Persons arriving Nigeria from countries with up to 1000 COVID-19 cases should be quarantined in suitable healthcare facilities.
“The advice to self-quarantine is counter-productive given the socio- economic realities in Nigeria. Contact tracing of positive cases should be stepped up. Health care givers should be resourced with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), face masks, gloves and hand sanitisers. Finally, timely dissemination of relevant information is critical in the war against COVID- 19.”
Wabba maintained that the NLC is ready to work with employers and governments to ensure that workers get the needed support, and employers a fair deal in these trying times.