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Don’t sack staff for testing positive to coronavirus- Lagos Govt.

By Monsuru Olowoopejo
Worried by the continued stigmatization from the public to patients that had recovered from coronavirus in Lagos, the State Government has asked organisations not to lay-off or retrench any staff for testing positive to the virus.
It added that organisations should also desist from asking employees to get coronavirus free certification as criteria for work, claiming that, such action indicate a shift of responsibility by the firm, wastes of resources and gives a false sense of security to the employees.
The Senior Special Assistant to the governor on health, Dr. Oreoluwa Finnih, issued the statement on Tuesday on her official social media handle, stated that the fight against coronavirus can only be won when everyone fight it collectively.
Finnih, in a long statement written to HR (Human Relations) of private firms in the state, stressed that rather than sack staff for contracting coronavirus, the organizations should intensify efforts towards sensitization on the pandemic.
Finnih said: “HR managers: It is futile to ask people to take COVID-19 tests if you are not going to sequester them after. It is also useless because your test is only as good as the period of time within which you’ve taken it. As long as people are going home every day its pointless.
“HR managers: Please focus on educating your workforce on preventive measures, reiterate the need for frequent hand washing, ensure that visitors and staff coming in are complying with the #MaskUpLagos and within the offices work stations are placed at a good distance apart.
“HR managers: Ensure that stationery is not shared,common areas and all surfaces are cleaned more frequently. Encourage & enable remote work. Covid19 testing is very serious business,testing reagents are scarce and are used strategically. Be wary of those peddling kits up and down
“HR managers: As of 1pm today 12th May 2020, no COVID19 RDT kit has been validated for use. Therefore the only places testing can be carried out in Lagos are the four labs at NIMR, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), BSL3 and one private laboratory. Please call 08000CORONA (08000267662) if someone is showing symptoms.
“HR managers: The fight is collective, everyone must play their part. Asking employees to get certification shifts responsibility, wastes resources and gives a false sense of security to both the organisation and the employees.
“HR managers: If someone falls ill from COVID-19,they will be issued a certificate of wellness from the accredited facility where they were treated and this should enable them to resume at work as soon as they feel fit to do so.
“HR managers: Please do not sack anyone because they came down with COVID-19, it’s discriminatory and stigmatises people. Thank you as you understand and comply”.

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