By Godwin Oritse
IN support of the efforts of the Federal Government to curtail the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Nigeria’s oil and gas logistics giant, INTELS Nigeria Limited has donated two facilities to the Port Health Services (PHS) of the Federal Ministry of Health to serve as isolation centres at the Onne Port, Rivers State.
INTELS General Manager, Legal and Corporate Services, Amaopusenibo Mike Epelle, while handing over one of the centers on Monday 30th March, said the isolation centres, located at both the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) and the Federal Lighter Terminal (FLT), Onne Port, were donated by the company to quarantine sick persons and any suspected case discovered by the Port Health Services on visiting vessels.
“We have not recorded any case of the COVID-19 infection here at Onne Port so far but that is not to say that we should become complacent. We commend the Federal and Rivers State Governments’ efforts aimed at protecting public health. These isolation centres are part of our own support to complement the efforts of the government to stop the spread of the disease,” Epelle said while handing over the isolation centre at the FLT to Port Health officials.
Epelle also said that INTELS is following strict workplace safety measures outlined by relevant authorities including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Port Health Services in ensuring the safety of its workers in its areas of operations in Onne, Warri, Calabar, and Lagos.
He said, “INTELS is committed to the wellbeing of its staff. The Health and safety of all the workers and visitors to our facilities remain a major priority in our management policy. Accordingly and in line with best global practices, we have initiated the creation of policies, guidelines, and procedures targeted at preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease in our facilities.
“Our workers are well educated on the safety measures to adopt at all times as advised by WHO and NCDC. Those who can work remotely have been asked to work from home while only essential duty staff is required to be at their duty posts under the strict observance of required safety measures.
“Minimizing contact among workers, clients, and customers by replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual communications and implementing telework is key and that is what we have been able to achieve, in addition to implementing other measures.”
The South-South Zonal Coordinator of Port Health Services, Mrs. Ibitein Benebo, who received the keys to the isolation centres, thanked INTELS for the donation and assured of judicious use of the facilities.
Nigeria has a total of 135 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Two of those infected have died. Globally, 803,011 have been infected with the disease out of which 39,025 have died while 172,396 have recovered.