The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has urged Lagos State Government to ensure the safety and health of people of Lagos, and the frontline health workers in view of the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.
The Chairman and Secretary of Lagos State Council of TUC, Mr Gbenga Ekundayo and Secretary, Mr Aladetan Abiodun, respectively, made the plea in a joint statement on Monday.
It was in commemoration of the 2020 World Day for Safety and Health at Work marked annually on April 28.
Theme of the 2020 World Day for Safety and Health at Work is: “Stop the Pandemic”.
According to the United Nations, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work.
Recognising the great challenge that governments, employers, workers and the societies are facing worldwide to combat COVID-19, the Day will address the outbreak of infectious diseases at work, particularly the pandemic.
The union leaders also expressed concern over the high number of cases recorded on a daily basis, appealing to the state government to speed up on increasing testing capacity of the state.
“Presently, it will be very difficult to successfully execute contact tracing in view of the high level of community transmission.
“With this trend, it means nobody is safe; even the health workers too are not safe; no wonder there is an increase in the number of healthcare workers who have contracted the virus.
“Hence, the government must, as a matter of urgency, expand its testing capacity so that those who are asymptomatic can be detected and given the necessary attention and treatment,” they said.
The TUC leaders also urged the government to provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the health workers.
According to them, if health workers are exposed to the virus, they may also end up in isolation centres.
“This will lead to shortage of frontline health personnel; we must not allow this virus to overwhelm us, and we do not want our health workers to be heroes in death.
“Also, all other employers of labour should provide the necessary safety kits, training and awareness needed so that we do not compromise the health and safety of workers,” the duo said.
The labour leaders called for a home grown solution to fight against the pandemic rather than waiting for solutions from the Western countries.
They said: “We cannot just continue to wait for solutions from outside our shores.
“We must develop home grown solutions of fighting this pandemic by giving our experts the necessary support and encouragement.
“This is the way to go to fighting against this scourge ravaging the world.” (NAN)