The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has demanded that jobs and wages be protected during the lockdown.
Its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said to make this possible, factories and businesses would require fiscal stimulus, aid and other incentives.
Wabba said workers in the informal sector should be given grants through their associations to enable them to cope during this time.
Wabba said: “As it is, we foresee a situation where more factories and workplaces will experience closure and reduction in working hours. We insist that workers must not be cannon fodders for these socio-economic fallouts.”
He, however, saluted the enormous sacrifices of health workers and medical practitioners who are working day and night in the fight against this pandemic.
Ayuba said: “Anything short of this would be an invitation to mass hysteria, confusion and widespread unrests which would extremely complicate the current prevalence of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
He called on the government to provide suitable quarantine facilities that inspire confidence in citizens, and assures everyone that has infection and subsequent isolation is not a death sentence. Putting in place other preventive measures against Covid-19, such as hand washing cum sanitisers, including fumigation of public places, proper protective equipment for health workers, social distancing, and prompt reporting and follow up on suspected cases is far better than treatment.
To contain the pandemic, NLC called on the government to mobilise and train a standby health workforce in case the infection level escalates.
He said: “The standby workforce should be trained, especially with specific knowledge on dealing with Covid-19. It would also be useful to call in experienced healthcare givers no longer in active service, and whose health is reasonably robust, to be part of the war against Covid-19. At the rate of this pandemic, all capable hands must be on deck.”