The National Identity Management Commission has shut down its Lagos headquarters after one of its staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
The PUNCH learnt that the worker, who is in the customer care unit, tested positive for the virus last Monday.
An official, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said several workers of the agency had also been ill.
The source said, “The woman, a nursing mother working in the customer care unit, tested positive on Monday.
“Other staff have been reporting one form of illness or the other. I am not feeling well as well and hoping I have not contracted the virus.”
A memo to workers of the agency, obtained by The PUNCH, showed that the Lagos office would be shut from Monday, August 16.
The memo said, “Good day #TeamLagos. This is to officially notify all members of staff of the temporary closure of the NIMC Lagos State Office, Alausa, from Monday, August 16 to Friday, August 20, 2021, to enable management to fumigate and sanitise the offices.
“Enrolment activities will resume on Monday, August 23, 2021.
“Meanwhile, ensure you observe all COVID-19 protocols in all the LGAs/ LCDAs. You will be notified by your state coordinators immediately we get receipt of PPEs from the HQ. Please stay safe.”
Asked why it took a week after the detection for the NIMC to shut down for fumigation, the source said the NIMC headquarters just approved the request of the Lagos management.
NIMC Public Relations Officer, Kayode Adegoke, denied knowledge of the COVID-19 case, adding that the fumigation was being done by the Lagos State Government.
He promised to call back our correspondent for further details but had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.
NIMC offices nationwide have witnessed high visits since last year when the government announced the commencement of the integration of the National Identification Number and Subscriber Identity Module, making it mandatory for all phone users in the country to link up their SIM cards with NINs.
The closure of NIMC Lagos office occurred amid the detection of the lethal Delta variant in Nigeria and the third wave of COVID-19 in the country.
The deadly Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility.
The variant has been detected in over 90 countries and is expected to spread to more countries, according to the NCDC.
Nigeria has so far recorded over 177,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 2,100 associated deaths since the index case of the virus was reported in the country in March 2020, according to statistics by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
With the number of cases and fatalities on the rise, the NCDC continues to urge Nigerians to maintain social distancing and hygiene practices as well as use masks in public to prevent transmission of the lethal virus which has been identified to move through droplets.