SIFAX Group has confirmed that one of its staff at Ports & Cargo Terminal, Tin Can Island Port, Lagos, tested positive for COVID-19, after unwittingly coming in contact with a family member, who had tested positive for the virus.
A statement issued by the company over the weekend and obtained by Daily Sun, said that the staff was asymptomatic as of Friday, April 17, 2020, the last day he was in the office.
“When he realized the said family member, who is his father-in-law, had tested positive, he decided to isolate himself and stayed away from the office.
“It was during his isolation that he developed the symptoms and was eventually diagnosed with the virus. He, alongside his wife and children, who have also tested positive, are currently undergoing treatment at the Landmark Isolation Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos,” the statement added.
According to the statement, as a responsible organization, immediately the affected staff called to officially inform the company of his status, “we communicated this development to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Federal Ministry of Health.
“Other colleagues who interacted with the staff have been identified and mandated to isolate immediately while the premises of the terminal have been fumigated. We will continue to support both the staff undergoing treatment and those who are in isolation.”
In another development, the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) over the weekend also denied reports making round that a senior staff of the authority tested positive for the coronavirus disease.
A report of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak at the port had gone viral on some maritime stakeholders’ whatsapp platforms on Friday raising fears among practitioners.
But NPA in a statement by its General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Jatto A. Adams in Lagos said none of its staff tested positive for COVID-19, but a staff of one of the terminals at the ports, who has now been quarantined while the company had taken all necessary precautions.
The statement noted: “The fact is that a member of staff of one of the terminals at the ports, who has not been at the office since Friday April 17, 2020 had visited his father-in-law and family during the weekend of Friday, April 17, 2020 and Sunday April 19, 2020.
“On arrival, he discovered that the medical practitioner father-in- law, his own wife and children had taken ill. On Monday, April 20, they were all diagnosed with coronavirus as a result of which he decided to isolate himself and get tested. He wrote to the office to inform them about the situation and his decision to self-isolate.”
Jato added: “On Thursday, April 23, 2020, he again wrote to inform the company that he had tested positive for coronavirus and that the entire family was now receiving treatment at one of the isolation centres in Lagos.
“The company immediately (on the same Thursday, April 23,2020) wrote to inform and seek advice from the Coordinator of Port Health Services in line with guidelines laid down by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for the report of COVID-19 incidents.”
He said the the company, in line with the advice from Port Health Services, had disinfected the premises, while all personnel who interacted with the staff had been identified and asked to self-isolate.
“The authority wishes to appeal to the media to verify information before going to press in order to avoid raising unnecessary tension.
“There are laid down procedures for the management of suspicions of COVID-19 incidents at the ports and the authority will, in collaboration with all other government agencies, follow these processes through whenever the occasions arise,” he said