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Lafarge says production on course as Covid-19 contacts hits 39

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The Ogun Government and Lafarge Africa have confirmed that contacts in respect of the recorded single case of Coronavirus (Covid-19) has hit 39 from the initial reported 28.

This included the driver who picked the infected Italian from an hotel in Ikeja and those who served him food and drink.

Contrary to the reports going round in the media that the production lines of Lafarge Africa PLC, Ewekoro have been closed following the visit of the Coronavirus-infected Italian to the company’s guest house, the management of Lafarge and Ogun state government have debunked the closure of the cement production lines.

The Ogun Government and Lafarge Africa confirmed this development at the Lafarge facility during an on-the-spot-assessment by the host state government, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), World Health Organisation (WHO) teams and the Industrial Director of Lafarge plc.

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The Ogun Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, commended Lafarge Africa for the quick and proactive measures taken so far.

She noted that it was imperative for the state and federal governments to swing into action to contain the spread of the deadly disease.

The commissioner said that the state government had activated an Emergency Operation Committee (EOC) to manage any development that may arise from the reported cases of Coronavirus.

“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 sensitising 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,” the commissioner said.
On its part, the company said that its production lines were not shut as the guest house where the Italian was lodged is 5km to the manufacturing plants in Ewekoro.

The Industrial Director, Lafarge Plc, Mr Segun Soyoye, said the Italian came to Lafarge facilities at Ewekoro to inspect some installations of machines bought from a Swedish firm.

Soyoye added that the Italian 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 Covid-19.

“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 is 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 (Saturday) 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.

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“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 on duty that day, they were also quarantined, so they will be there for 14 days as well,” Soyoye said.

Also, Mr Ibrahim Mamadu, the Team Leader of World Health Organisation (WHO) Nigeria, also commended the internal processes undertaken so far by Lafarge Africa to contain the deadly disease.

He however advised the company and others to acquire digital thermometers to check body temperatures instead of infrared thermometers for accurate body temperature readings.

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