According to reports, the plant was shut down on Friday, February 28 by the Nigerian government, while an employee of the company, who drove an Italian infected with Coronavirus with an ambulance to Lagos for medical attention, has also been arrested.
Sources also revealed that a clinic inside the cement factory has also been shut down while staff are currently locked inside a room after fears grew that the Italian had been in contact with many persons in Ogun State before being rushed to Lagos for medical help.
The Italian arrived Nigeria aboard Turkish Airlines on Monday, February 24, around 9:40pm as against February 25 claimed by the Lagos and Nigerian governments.
He is said not to have shown any signs of being infected with the virus at the time of his entry into the country but developed fever and body aches the next day when he visited Lafarge at Ewekoro, Ogun.
He was thereafter taken to the company’s clinic that evening and was placed under observation while the Ogun State Government was notified of his situation.
The decision to move him to Lagos was taken following the non-existence of a facility to handle his case in Ogun.
There are claims that the ambulance used to convey the man to Lagos was not from the infection control centre in Lagos as claimed by the state government but from another clinic in Sagamu, Ogun State.
The driver, who drove the Italian to Lagos, was exposed to him for at least five hours and was not isolated or quarantined but allowed to go home.
As a result of this, he was also exposed to several other person and heightened the risk of the virus spreading further.
A source at Lafarge, stated this: “I am just concerned about the primary contacts.
“The man (driver) is back here now, there are no plans of taking him into isolation
“The health care providers were not also isolated.
“The driver was allowed to go home, claiming he didn’t break any protocol when he delivered the man.
“The company tried to smuggle the Italian out of Lagos by air by pretending that he had Malaria.
“There are so many persons that had been exposed to the index case and if these people are not found and quarantined, we could be in big trouble.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Lafarge Africa, Plc, Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, in a statement said all those who had direct contact with the Italian have been identified.
“The Lagos State Government has reported a first case of n-COVID19 (Coronavirus) in Nigeria. The individual concerned works for a vendor that provides services to Lafarge Africa Plc in Ogun State,” the statement read.
“As a business, we have immediately identified the persons who had direct contact with the concerned individual. We have equally initiated isolation, quarantine and disinfection protocol.
“We thank the exemplary leadership of the federal ministry of health, Ogun and Lagos State Governments for swiftly providing response and testing facilities and we are working in full co-operation with all local authorities. Lafarge Africa is also working in close partnership with International SOS, our medical service provider, a leading global health company.
“Health and Safety remains a core value at Lafarge Africa and we intend to leverage this strength at this critical time,” statement said.
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