19 more workers test positive for COVID-19 in Ibadan firm
Employees accuse management of not adhering to preventive measures
Nineteen more workers of the Ibadan firm located in Ibadan South West Local Council of Oyo State, have tested positive for coronavirus pandemic.
This brings the total number of the infected persons in the organisation to 57 cases, making the company the first to have such high number of index cases in Nigeria.
The overall total number of confirmed cases in the state has risen to 137.
Chairman of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, Governor Seyi Makinde, gave the update in a tweet yesterday.
However, some workers of the firm, iSON xperiences, a contact centre and customer care outfit, have alleged that the management of the company was not strictly adhering to the preventive measures put in place by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to prevent the spread of the virus.
Some of the workers, now on self-isolation in their various homes following the closure of the company by Oyo State government, told The Guardian that the issue of social distancing was not taken seriously as their sitting arrangement was not re-arranged to give space while some members of staff did not see reasons why they must use sanititisers.
A member of staff, who pleaded anonymity, said: “You know we run a customer care service for telecoms providers. The Indians that own the company are just interested in your eight-hour service per day. We are all contract members of staff. We expected them to reduce the number of people coming for each shift to allow for social distancing but that was not the case.
Meanwhile, the management of the company has denied the allegation in a purported statement that was not signed.
The statement reads in part: “We operate contact centres and customer care processes from two centres in Ibadan and one in Ilorin for leading telecoms service providers in Nigeria. iSON has implemented strict COVID-19 pandemic preventive measures, including social distancing norms, COVID-19 awareness campaigns for employees, mandatory use of sanitiser and masks, temperature checks and general health check at the in-house clinic based on World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.
“Employees with suspected risks have undergone the necessary tests and placed in isolation under the supervision of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Together with the authorities, we will ensure the full return of our employees to good health for their eventual resumption back at work.
“As of now, our office premises are temporarily closed for thorough disinfection.”
We are focused on providing services in a safe and healthy environment, and taking the necessary proactive measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19 virus.”