The shortage of protective kits at the various seaport terminals for protection from coronavirus when boarding vessels is a cause of concern for dockworkers in the country.
The workers have also urged the Port Health Services of the Federal Ministry of Health to quarantine crew members of foreign vessels before calling on dockworkers to board such vessels.
The President General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Adewale Adeyanju, said there was a need for the quarantine service and the Port Health to be more diligent as the level of awareness of the disease at the port was very low.
He decried the attitude of terminal operators, who according to him, were yet to create awareness among their staff and dockworkers, about the existence and prevention of the COVID-19.
Adeyanju blamed terminal operators for failing to provide the necessary kits for the dockworkers to go onboard.
He pointed out that seafarers onboard vessels calling at the Nigerian ports were from China, Singapore and other countries that had been reported to be affected by the spread of the COVID-19.
He said since the employers had failed in the duty of educating dockworkers about the virus, the union would sensitise its members in this regard.
The Port Health Services is a member of a coronavirus preparedness group established by the Centre for Disease Control to prepare for the containment of the virus.
The Director of the centre, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, stated this in a recent interview following the first COVID-19 case in Nigeria.
He said the group met daily to review the situation globally, assess the risk of spread and improve on Nigeria’s level of preparedness based on new findings and insights.
At the points of entry, including the seaports, screening had been heightened, particularly for passengers coming from China, Ihekweazu said, adding that the screenings included temperature checks, specific questions on known symptoms of the novel coronavirus and travel history.

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