Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Wednesday disclosed the name of the company where 63 members of its staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ibadan South West Local Government Area.
The disclosure comes as the number of infected persons in the state as of May 19th stood at 143, with 91 active cases, 46 recoveries, four deaths and two cases transferred into the state. Four cases were said to have been transferred outside the state.
The company, according to the governor, is iSON Xperiences. As gathered, it is an outsourcing organisation owned by Indians and it has many branches in Nigeria, including Oyo State.
Makinde, the Chairman of Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, made the disclosure when he gave an update on the management of coronavirus in the state on Twitter Wednesday morning.
The governor had on May 16th announced that 30 staff of the same company tested positive for COVID-19 in Ibadan, and on May 17th made it public that an additional eight personnel of the same company have been infected, bringing the total to 38.
The number of infected staff increased to 57 on May 18th based on the announcement of 19 more infected staff. Six more staff of the company also tested positive for COVID-19 on May 19, bringing the total number of infected people in iSON Xperiences to 63.
Related: COVID-19: Oyo records 6 more cases
‘The COVID-19 confirmation tests for six suspected cases came back positive. All six cases are from the same organisation, iSON Xperiences in Ibadan South West Local Government Area. So, the total number of confirmed cases in Oyo State is 143.
‘The company remains shut and will be decontaminated. The Emergency Operations Centre has continued intensive contact tracing to identify persons of interest linked to members of staff in the company,’ the governor stated.
The management of iSON Xperiences, a leading customer experience provider with a presence in 15 countries across Africa, and employing over 10,000 people, had on Monday reacted to the reports of some of its employees that tested positive for COVID-19 in one of its centres in Ibadan.
The statement read in part: ‘We operate Contact Centres and Customer Care processes from two Centres in Ibadan and one in Ilorin for leading Telecom Service Providers in Nigeria. iSON has implemented strict COVID-19 pandemic preventive measures including social distancing norms, Covid-19 awareness campaigns for employees, mandatory use of sanitizer and masks, temperature checks, general health check at the in-house clinic based on WHO guidelines.
‘We have ensured Contact Centre services are available on a 24/7 basis with additional Work from Home Customer Service Advisors activated and maintained ‘Business as Usual’ for us as well as for our Customers.
‘Important points with regards to our Nigeria operations – we have some of our employees who were detected positive for COVID-19 at one of our centres in Ibadan.
‘Employees with suspected risks have undergone the necessary test and placed in isolation under the supervision of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Together with the authorities, we will ensure the full return of our employees to good health for their eventual resumption back at work.
‘As of now, our office premise is temporarily closed for thorough disinfection. We are focused on providing services in a safe and healthy environment, and taking the necessary proactive measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19 virus.
‘We thank Oyo State Governor’s Task Force, NCDC and our clients for their invaluable support in handling the unprecedented situation.’