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Labour, CSOs seek coordinated easing of COVID-19 lockdown

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Urge retooling of isolation centres, decentralised contact tracing, others

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and civil society organisations (CSOs) have urged the Federal Government to implement evidence-based easing of the COVID-19 lockdown to avert massive infections in the country.

While calling for synergy between the federal and state governments, the groups said an uncoordinated opening up of the economy could lead to overcrowding in public spaces that may further exacerbate the spread of the virulent virus.

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The coalition, under the aegis of Labour-Civil Society Situation Room on COVID-19, reiterated its call for the prioritisation of adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for health workers at all levels of healthcare delivery as well as specialised and continuous training of health workers on the management of the disease.

It also urged the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to establish special Isolation centres for infected healthcare workers and standardise the existing treatment centres across the federation.

The groups pointed out that proper equipping of isolation centres would correct their public perception as detention facilities, adding that such move would equally improve recovery rate, boost the confidence of health workers and make available more professional hands to fight the scourge.

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They also urged that the rash of conflicting responses and approaches to the pandemic by state governments should be addressed.

The coalition, in addition, sought adequate de-contamination of aircraft and airports during and after the current shutdown of normal flight operations to safeguard the health of aviation workers and users.

According to them, community-based and decentralised contact tracing, testing, isolation and treatment should be prioritised at this time.

The situation room too implored employers of labour to stop the massive layoff of workers and cut in salaries.

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