Civil servants and COVID-19 test

Against the backdrop of the rising number of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections, a recent directive by the Federal Government that civil servants should undergo COVID-19 test would only make sense if adequate provisions are made to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

But going from experience, conducting a hitch-free test for civil servants would be a herculean task. In other words, an orderly test for thousands of civil servants is an invitation to chaos and disorder. Graft, favouritism and other unethical issues are bound to arise to make the exercise futile, after all.

How is government going to ensure that precious time, energy and resources are not wasted all in the name of undergoing COVID-19 test? According to reports, the Federal Government issued a circular directing all MDAs to carry out COVID-19 test for all civil servants. There was a specific location built by a private developer for the exercise in Abuja even as there is no word on public servants outside the nation’s capital.

The circular: “I am directed to inform you that the Federal Government has provided facilities for the conduct of COVID-19 tests for civil servants at the ThisDay Dome, Mohammed Kur Avenue, by Nanet Suites, Central Business District, Abuja (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily) as part of efforts to curtail the spread of the disease. Accordingly, you are required to notify all staff of the testing facility to enable members of staff who experience COVID-19-related symptoms and those wishing to get tested in your MDAs to take advantage of this opportunity.” The officer who signed the circular on behalf of the HoS, requested all permanent secretaries to bring the contents of the circular to the attention of all staff and ensure that all parastatals and agencies under their supervision were notified.

Read the full article in Guardian

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