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Coronavirus: How Nigerians can wrap up with preventive measures to avoid spread

Despite worldwide efforts to contain the new coronavirus, hotspots continue to emerge, Nigeria has confirmed first case, marks it the third confirmed case in Africa as number of cases is on the rise globally.

Experts say one possibility is that cases of the disease will start decreasing when enough people develop, precautions, immunity, either through infection or vaccination as the country is dealing with the virus.

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Here are the steps that would be helpful before COVID-19 spreads

Nigerians should take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families, following the precautions below:

Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

Maintain at least 1 & half metres (5 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Persons with persistent cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but not mix in crowd.

 Make sure you and people around you follow good respiratory hygiene, meaning cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or into your sleeve at the bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

 Stay home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. Please call NCDC toll free number which is available day and night, for guidance- 0800-970000-10. Do not engage in self-medication

 Stay informed on the latest developments about coronavirus through official channels on TV and Radio, including the Lagos State Ministry of Health, NCDC and Federal Ministry of Health.

 Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic. The Federal Ministry of Health, through Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, will continue to provide updates and will initiate all measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in Nigeria.

 For workplace In order to prevent the spread, organisations should promote regular and thorough hand-washing by employees, contractors and customers, put sanitizing hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace and making sure these dispensers are regularly refilled ,Display posters promoting hand-washing – ask your local public health authority for these or look on www.WHO.int.

Combine this with other communication measures such as offering guidance from occupational health and safety officers, briefings at meetings and information on the intranet to promote hand-washing.

 Make sure that staff, contractors and customers have access to places where they can wash their hands with soap and water

Display posters promoting respiratory hygiene. Combine this with other communication measures such as offering guidance from occupational health and safety officers, briefing at meetings and information on the intranet etc.

Ensure that your employees comply with instructions from local authorities where they are traveling. If, for example, they are told by local authorities not to go somewhere they should comply with this. Your employees should comply with any local restrictions on travel, movement or large gatherings.

Develop a plan of what to do if someone becomes ill with suspected COVID-19 at one of your workplaces.

The plan should address how to keep your business running even if a significant number of employees, contractors and suppliers cannot come to your place of business – either due to local restrictions on travel or because they are ill.

 Communicate to your employees and contractors about the plan and make sure they are aware of what they need to do – or not do – under the plan. Emphasize key points such as the importance of staying away from work even if they have only mild symptoms or have had to take simple medications (for example  paracetamol, ibuprofen) which may mask the symptoms.

Be sure your plan addresses the mental health and social consequences of a case of COVID-19 in the workplace or in the community and offer information and support.

For small and medium-sized businesses without in-house staff health and welfare support, develop partnerships and plans with your local health and social service providers in advance of any emergency.

Your local or national public health authority may be able to offer support and guidance in developing your plan

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