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EXCLUSIVE: Coronavirus Causing Damage In Nigeria’s Travel, Events Industries

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Murtala Muhammed International Airport

“This is what we feed on, and now, we have no work to do as movements has been restricted,” a staff of tourism industry said.

There is no doubt that the travel industry has suffered a massive blow due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping through Nigeria and other parts of the world. Hotels, airlines, and cruise operators are just a few of the hardest hit travel industries that suffer the most immediate repercussions.

As of 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the tourism sector accounted for 34 per cent of GDP and about 20 per cent of the nation’s employment creation in 2017. Thus, this means that the sector also has a significant impact on the country’s economy.

On March 18, the government announced it was restricting entry into the country for travellers from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, the US, Norway, the UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Nigeria expanded its restrictions on March 21 announcing it will close its two main international airports in the cities of Lagos and Abuja from March 23 for one month.

These travel ban and restrictions have dealt a huge blow on travels and tours industry. The risk particularly applies to companies who already have financial problems. The situation is more optimistic for strong industry players. Some of them are taking different measures to secure their financial situation.

According to the country’s National Centre for Disease Control, “The Federal Government of Nigeria has also suspended the issuance of visa on arrival to travellers from these countries. All travellers returning from these countries prior to the restriction will be in supervised self-isolation, monitored by the NCDC and Port Health Services.“

Travel agencies are putting their best foot forward to ensure their customers are being satisfied during this period. The companies have to deal with thousands of calls from customers, who intend to either cancel their trips or are trying to book flights to get home, as well as those due to travel imminently or with trips planned for later in the year.

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During a phone interview with a Travels and Tour company in Lagos, an employee, who does not want her name in print said the effect of the virus on the travel industry is ‘high’ and ‘tiring’.

She stressed that customers are constantly calling to request for refunds of their money and to change their travel plans. When asked what the travel industry is doing to manoeuvre the situation, she said:

“Airlines are doing their best to handle the situation by giving vouchers to customers that can be used for future travels. Customers can be rest assured that their next trip is partly covered.

“It is not like money isn’t coming in, so it is not possible to refund people. The same thing applies to hotels, tourist centers and others.

“Most of the tickets have been left open and some airlines’ cancellation policies don’t permit refunds.

“Some airlines have also been lenient by leaving tickets open for up to a year or giving vouchers, stating that they have a particular amount that can be used in the future because it isn’t the fault of the customers.

“No one knows when the disease will clear, so people don’t know when they will travel. Even local airports are beginning to shut down.

“These past few weeks have been tough because we have clients calling and some people do not want to understand as they continually ask for their money back. The disease is taking a toll on us but there is nothing that can be done.”

Another employee in the same industry described the effect of the disease as a ‘huge loss’.

In his words, “This is what we feed on, and now, we have no work to do as movements has been restricted.

“The packages booked by people going for honeymoon can’t be feasible and we are begging for hotels to give refunds but unfortunately, some have a no-refund policy. Some airlines have also stated that they do not give people money back.

“We come to work to receive calls from customers. Before, the calls are usually from people hoping to book flight, but now, people are either asking for refunds, to cancel their trips and leave their trip open and how long it will be valid.

“It has become a norm now due to travel restrictions.

“There is no measure being put in place to solve the situation. The travel industry is shutting down.

“I work at the International Air Transport Association, which is the governing body for airlines and those working in airline-related services and they have predicted that Nigeria will lose almost 109 billion Naira. This is because almost all agencies are shutting down while others have asked their staff to come three times in a week to cut cost.

“Staff are scared that their salary won’t come in due to the decrease in sales.

“Everyone is in limbo and this is not a good time to be in the travel industry.”

The events planning industry is also suffering from coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria. Social gatherings have been limited to 50 persons. (Lagos, 20)

Bars, lounges have also been asked to shut down but some have refused to adhere to the directive. At Oworoshoki area of Lagos, Bars were opened and ready for business but only few customers patronised.

Speaking with Seun Bankole, an event planner, the CEO of House of Wonders; she said;

“The disease has affected event planning because so many clients have requested to cancel their events which has already been slated between now and April because they are scared of people refusing to come due to the spread of the Covid-19 disease as well the fear of the government coming to bombarding the venues and halting the process.

“Only a few, who are religious have opted to stay put and stay positive that nothing will happen but this will also mean a reduction in the number of guests.

“I and some of my colleagues are praying and hoping the situation is contained so things can go back to normal. It is similar to the INEC election where people had to cancel their weddings for the election to hold.

“There is nothing people can do but the best that can be done is for the urgent events like christenings, birthdays to be held in small gatherings like in your home, living room I.e. a place that won’t call crowd in order not to flout government orders.”

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Kate

    April 2, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Not only event industries even markets. I went to market today and sellers are complaining that they have not sold anything since morning they came to market. If the Covid-19 issue continues it will badly affect Nigeria’s economy.

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Coronavirus

Healthcare Workers To Receive Coca-Cola-Funded PPEs From Nigerian Red Cross

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Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease in Nigeria, our healthcare workers have continued to lead the charge against the disease. As the number of recorded COVID-19 cases in Nigeria began to increase, these healthcare workers rose to the challenge and fought tirelessly to protect the lives of Nigerians impacted by the disease.

Considering the risks these healthcare workers face, there is a crucial need for adequate protective equipment for these brave frontline workers.

Coca-Cola is excited that over 400,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) procured to support the intervention efforts of the Nigerian Government and other key stakeholders to fight the COVID 19 pandemic have arrived. We do believe that this will to provide succor to our healthcare workers on the frontlines

These PPEs comprise N95 respirators, surgical masks, examination gloves, face shields, medical gowns, no-touch thermometers, disposable aprons, heavy-duty rubber gloves, rubber boots, basic masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizers.

Since the first confirmed case of the disease in Nigeria reported in February, over 800 healthcare workers have contracted the disease. While Nigerians are encouraged to stay home where possible and practice social distancing, these healthcare workers are needed across the country in the continued fight against the disease.

This donation forms part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s COVID-19 relief interventions in Nigeria. The Coca-Cola Foundation has provided $2.5m in grant to IFRC who seeks to directly impact the lives of 1.4 million people in Nigeria and across other countries in West and Central Africa under this partnership.

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The Right Ways To Enlist Nurse Call System To Fight Covid-19

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With the outbreak of this global pandemic and its jacked-up expansion within a short period, it has brought the world to a grinding halt. Sanitoriums around the world are being swamped as well as sports arenas and summit venues are also remodeled into Corona wards. Despite the broad enrollment of medical staff in exclusive health centers, patients faced considerable complications in getting medical assistance. During this cutthroat pandemic era, application of smart strats and tech gadgets is the only option left to cope up with the novel virus. During this interval, a wireless nurse call system is demonstrated as manna from heaven to bridge the revivifying hiatus between patient and nurse.

An array of principle scenarios have been exercised at a colossal degree in this malignant warfare between virulent virus and mankind. Amongst them, launching of grand momentary hospitals to give a bed to amplify the influx of an infinite number of patients was an efficient idea. In assistance to establishment of transient hospitals, the latest medical devices and tools just as the emergency nurse calling system presented by Aidbell played a vital role in easing the access of nurses and patients by uprooting the communication gap in order to combat the deadly virus with instant health aid. Their wrist and pendant call buttons are highly systematic to meet the need in emergency resulting in improved patient’s relief, faculty’s connection with sufferers and operational expertise.

 

Technology is on leading-edge in almost every sector so as in the healthcare department. In this sector the lives of patients are considered more important than anything else. A responsible health care center is well aware of the saying that health is wealth and the duty-bound ones won’t deny it in any case. One second of delay in any case can result in heavy consequences that affect the lives in the worst possible ways. In the present circumstances where the patients are surviving on a ventilator without food and enough oxygen time is an essential aspect and not even a second should be spared in providing assistance to the patients. Nurse calling system has made it easy in the busy hospital wards by providing instant communication between patient and nurse. This device sends a spirited signal to the personal devices or receiver device of nurses to respond at the moment. The two call systems can also be connected with other technological systems available at hospitals such as video surveillance systems, it also offers the footage of rooms to the staff in more urgent situations.

Where there is economical back-breaking going on due to the novel virus and due to scarcity of front-line warriors nurse call button is highly recommended that helps in monitoring every bed effectively by the fewer staff members. In other words, reduction of staff leads to price-slashing and therefore mounts the net-profit. In addition to this if the device is linked with other devices such as heart monitors and other medical equipments, it enables the nurse to receive more precise information about the patient’s situation, if the patient’s condition is getting critical due to crucial arrhythmias, panic attacks or hyperthermia they must need an urgent health aid.

One of the best contributions of the nurse calling system is facilitating an individual nurse to perform multi tasks simultaneously. The nurse can keep an eye on different beds and administer several patients synchronously without overlooking any of them. An appropriate utilization of this phenomenal device aids the health care centers in regulating the handling of hiked up numbers of patients with not too many staff members. This device restrains the patients and staff to use elbow grease by keeping both of them just a click away. In this Covid season where the beds are lining the corridors of hospital monitoring the patients were in a critical issue before this tool was launched. Where there is a requirement of mental relaxation with being tested positive for a virulent virus. These medical aid devices have solved this issue by arousing a sense of relief in patients by making them realize that their health assistant is just a click away. If you are looking for an incalculable record of appeased patients, get your hands on this marvelous device with a button as a helping hand.

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BREAKING: Nigeria Records 49 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Now 542

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NCDC Records New Cases

Nigeria Records 49 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Now 542

Nigeria on Saturday recorded 49 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the country’s total infections to 542, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)

In a tweet via its official handle, the NCDC said 23 cases were identified in Lagos, 12 in the FCT, 10 in Kano, two in Ogun and one each in Oyo and Ekiti.

NCDC Records New Cases

NCDC Records New Cases

The agency also recorded an increase in the number of deaths to 19, while 166 patients have been discharged.

READ ALSO – Peter Obi Demands Accountability, Transparency On Usage Of COVID-19 Funds

Nigeria’s number of infections are expected to continue to rise, as the NCDC has said it is ramping up testing across the country.

COVID-19 deaths in Africa have already passed 1,000 and the country announced the death of Abba Kyari, top aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday.

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