One of the leading financial institutions in Nigeria Fidelity Bank PLC may have averted possible spread of COVID-19 to others, as its staff who has been in self-isolation with the help of the bank since returning from holidays in the UK has tested positive for Covid-19 pandemic.
The bank in a a statement issued by its head of corporate Mr Charles Aigbe on Thursday explained that the affected staff went into self-isolation and testing in line with the bank’s policy that mandates staff/family members who have travelled overseas in recent time to self-isolate for 14 days and test for the virus before returning to work.
The test returned positive and he was immediately moved to the NCDC for further examination and treatment. Though the staff has not been to work since his return, the contact tracing embarked upon by Fidelity Bank in the wake of this discovery shows that he brought back items for 2 colleagues who have also been made to self-isolate and test.
In other measures, the office where they work has been temporarily closed. According to the bank, in line with the collective resolve, to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Fidelity Bank, as a responsible corporate citizen, wishes to join in sharing information with the public as follows;
“Fidelity Bank mandates staff or immediate family member(s) who travel out the country to self-isolate for 2 weeks and obtain medical clearance before returning to work as part of our COVID-19 Preventive and Precautionary Measures.
This process was activated and strictly adhered to by one of its staff who returned from holidays in the United Kingdom. “He was in self-isolation and underwent testing in line with the bank’s policy. The test results returned positive at the weekend and we quickly arranged for him to be moved to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), where he is currently being attended to by health officials”, the bank explained.
The statement reads in part, “We are in constant touch with him and have been monitoring the situation closely. Our thoughts and prayers are with him. “Though the staff has not been at the bank since returning from the UK, he however brought some consignments for two other staff which were delivered to them individually. “We have self-isolated the 2 individuals and sent them for necessary testing.
In addition, the office where these 2 individuals work, has been temporarily shut and has been disinfected. Due to the proactive measures taken by the bank, contact tracing within the bank was very swift and conclusive with no customers involved. “We have also shut down our Federal Secretariat, Abuja Business Office and advised all staff/vendors to self-isolate and go for testing in line with our policy on COVID-19, on account of possible exposure of vendor staff. “Apart from the directive on isolation and testing for staff and family members who have had trips abroad within this period, the bank has in place, several other precautionary measures as advised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health institutions.
They include; Body temperature screening of staff and visitors before being allowed access to all our premises; Wearing of gloves and facemasks by all our frontline staff; Reduction in the number of staff expected to come to work, as 60 per cent of our staff now work remotely from home.” The bank added that it also reduced the number of customers allowed at a time into its banking halls to a maximum of five, while encouraging good personal hygiene and deployment of hand sanitizers at all its office locations. “ We encouraged social distancing and abolition of physical meetings and large gatherings, as well as the deployment of video conferencing and other devices to allow for remote meetings.
“Fidelity Bank places a high premium on health and safety. We shall continue to do everything within our means to ensure the health and safety of all, including customers, vendors, staff and indeed everyone who comes into our premises” the bank stated.