17 December 2020 | Abuja – Advisory to Public Sector Leaders and Business Owners on the Resurgence of COVID-19
Following the increasing number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Nigeria, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has developed the following guidelines for public sector leaders and business owners in Nigeria.
The risk of spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 is higher in confined spaces where there is close contact (less than 2 metres), with an infected, but possibly asymptomatic person, the riskier the longer someone has close contact with an infected person. This highlights the importance of ensuring strict and continued adherence to public measures in workplaces and business premises.
Employers and business owners have a responsibility to stay abreast of guidelines and recommendations from NCDC, to protect their staff, visitors and customers.
The following guidelines are provided to employers and business owners, to safeguard the health and safety of employees and customers;
1. Temperature checks must be carried out on all employees and customers entering office and business premises (any person with a temperature 38 degrees Celsius or above, should be denied entry and advised to go for a health check).
2. No mask, No entry, No service - all staff members, visitors and customers entering workplaces, shops or business premises must wear a face mask that should cover the mouth and nose at all times, and should not remove them, especially if speaking to another person in close proximity.
3. All office and business premises must have a handwashing station with running water and soap or hand sanitizer at the entrance. Employers and business owners have a responsibility to ensure hand sanitizers are always refilled and soap and water always available.
4. Restrict all physical meetings and instead opt for virtual meetings, whenever possible. If physical meetings must be held, ensure there is adequate ventilation of the room, limit the number of attendees and ensure all staff members wear face masks, maintain physical distance of at least two metres and adhere to other public health measures.
5. Business owners, leaders in public service have a responsibility to ensure that all staff members abide by the mandated public health measures, including maintaining physical distance, wearing of face masks at all times.
6. Limit the number of people seated in an office, ensuring there is adequate space to allow for reasonable physical distancing. Business owners should limit the number customers entering and being served in their shops or premises, at one time.
7. Office, shops and business premises must be well-ventilated and cleaned regularly throughout the day, ensuring that frequently touched surfaces like desks, countertops, work stations, railings, door handles, are cleaned and disinfected. An occupational health and infectious diseases preparedness plan must be place, in case an employee, customer or visitor becomes unwell.
8. Ensure there is clear and visible signage in offices and business premises, reminding employees and customers to adhere to public health measures, e.g. maintaining physical distance, wearing face masks over nose and mouth, and hand hygiene
9. Every office, shop or business premise should appoint "compliance champions", to monitor, remind and reinforce adherence to these public health measures.
10. Employees who are feeling unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms, should notify their supervisor immediately, or stay at home and seek medical attention to confirm diagnosis, by doing a COVID19 test.
The continued spread of COVID-19 continues to put increased pressure on our already fragile health systems and threaten Nigeria's economy. Public sector leaders and business owners have to play their own part, by taking responsible and decisive action to help stop the spread and upsurge of COVID-19 in the country, ensuring adherence to public health measures and guidelines provided in this advisory.
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