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Safety professionals allay fears over coronavirus

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President of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSF), Nsikak A. Ekam, has allayed fears of participants and other Nigerians at its three-day Professional Development Conference (PDC) and Exhibition holding in Abuja between March 19 and March 21, 2020.

Speaking yesterday at the 2020 PDC professional at NAF Centre, he described Nigeria as a country that is resilient and proactive in improvising means to tackle its challenges at all cost.

He said although the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently declared Covid-19 a global pandemic which has placed restrictions on international travels, it has not been a deterrent or shop stopper, but an opportunity for Nigeria to show how resilient the country could tackle challenges.

“We were forced to think outside the box for the pre-conference trainings and identified qualified Nigerians that handled sessions professionally and found alternatives through evolving technology to have our foreign speakers present their keynote addresses.

“Nigerians should be rest assured that the Federal Government has been strengthening the country’s preparedness since the first confirmation of cases in China,” he said.

He added that the state and the Federal Government have made all possible resources available to respond to any cases.

“Nigeria successfully managed Ebola, manage outbreaks all the time, and is currently managing Lassa fever across the country.

“Today five reported primary and secondary Covid-19 cases associated with our index case have tested negative, while three are currently isolated and taking treatment,” he added.

According to him, “During this period of heightened awareness over the Coronavirus outbreak, the ASSP Nigeria Gupta (ASSP-NC) has been doing everything possible to ensure the safety and health of all attendees at the event in conjunction with the WHO and Nigeria Centre for Disease Carnot (NCDC) in adhering to guidelines.

“We are working with event planners and facility management teams to ensure that participants are screened for temperature monitoring before being allowed into the venue.

“Infrared thermometers and hand sanitisers procured for starters are provided for increased and frequent cleaning and disinfection of all common areas. If anyone observed a sick participant, they should inform nearest usher or medic to protect our OSH family and event participants. I encourage all to be safety and situation conscious.”

He advised individuals and participants to emphasise prevention, early detection and prompt response to infectious disease outbreaks, saying they were crucial to the success of containing the global pandemic.

Lamenting the recent explosion that killed scores of people in Lagos, Ekam said, “The Nigeria chapter of ASSP is saddened over the tragic loss of lives and sufferings that Nigerian has been experiencing because of petroleum pipeline vandalism, fire, liquefied petroleum gas explosion, tanker spill/fire incidents, building collapse and floods.”


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