By James Ogunnaike
The number of quarantined persons on the recent outbreak of the deadly disease, Coronavirus has increased to 39 as against 28 earlier reported.
This number included those that have had contact with the Italian when he visited Lafarge Africa facility in Ewekoro included the driver who picked him from a hotel in Ikeja and those served him food and drink, have now reached 39 from the 28 contacts earlier reported on Friday.
The management of the multinational Cement factory, however, said the production lines of the company were not shut as because the guest house where the Italian was lodged is about 5-km to the manufacturing plants in Ewekoro.
“Although Lafarge Africa and its host, Ogun state government confirmed that CONVID- 19 contacts, who include the driver who picked the infected Italian from an hotel in Ikeja and those served him food and drink, have now reached 39 from the 28 contacts earlier reported in media, they, however, said that the production lines were not shut as the guest house where the Italian was lodged is 5-km to the manufacturing plants in Ewekoro”.
Lafarge Africa PLC on Saturday said in spite of the reports going round in the media that the production lines of Lafarge Africa PLC, located in Ewekoro, Ogun state have been closed down following the visit of the Coronavirus-infected Italian to a cement company’s guest house, the management of Lafarge and Ogun state government have debunked the closure of the cement production lines.
Speaking at the Lafarge facility, Ewekoro during an on-the-spot-assessment by Ogun state government team, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO), Segun Soyoye, Lafarge Industrial Director, declared that the Italian came to Lafarge facilities in Ewekoro to inspect some installations of machines bought from a Swedish firm and he didn’t go behind Lafarge Guest House at Ishofin Estate before he was evacuated having developed abnormal temperatures that suggested he had been infected with Coronavirus.
He said, “The Italian came for a business visit. He was in Lagos on Monday and slept at Airport Hotel, Ikeja. Our driver took him there, and when we observed abrnomal temperatures and symptoms, we quickly instituted an Emergency Response Team which was led by the Company CEO, we have to find a way of analysing and identifying not only the Italian but also the other contacts.
“The contacts are now 39 and we have quarantined them, the house and clinic as well as the vehicles. We don’t take chances that is why they are put there. Today is Day 3, they will be there for 14 days, we will continue to observe them, we have their database, showing their biodata and other information. The doctor is here and what he is doing is to check them on a regular basis, so far everybody is stable, they are not symptomatic, we are providing everything for them over there.
“The other thing that I have not said is that the clinic that was used for the infected person is closed, disinfected and we moved everybody out, all the guys at duty that day, they were also quarantined, so they will be there for 14 days as well.”
Speaking on behalf of the Government, Tomi Coker, Ogun State Commissioner, commended Lafarge Africa management for quick and proactive measures taken so far, saying it is also imperative for State and Federal Governments to swing into action to contain the spread of the deadly disease.
The Commissioner said that Ogun State Government had activated an Emergency Operation Committee (EOC) to manage any development that may arise from the reported case of Coronavirus, adding that the Government is currently working to contain the spread Coronavirus in the State.
She stated that the Committee set up which is headed by herself, Commissioner for Health, comprises staff of the State Ministry of Health, Hospital Management Board, Representatives of Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and representatives of Federal Medical Center (FMC), Abeokuta.
“We are on top of the situation. There is no cause for alarm. Our health educators are busy with advocacy efforts on the field. We are sensitizing our health officers too on preventive measures to adopt. We have all the required interventions to contain the situation. Members of the public should remain calm,” Commissioner said.
Also, Ibrahim Mamadu, Team Leader of World Health Organisation (WHO) Nigeria also lauded internal processes undertaken so far by Lafarge Africa to contain the deadly disease but advised Lafarge Africa and other to acquire digital thermometers to check body temperatures instead of infrared thermometers for accurate body temperature readings.