The Nigeria Hotel Association, Rivers State Chapter, says it has lost N15 billion worth of businesses, since the outbreak of Coronavirus in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Rivers State government directed a complete lockdown of the state closing borders due to the outbreak of Covid-19, to prevent its spread.
Mr Eugene Nwauzi, the state Chairman, Nigeria Hotel Association, Rivers Chapter, told newsmen on Wednesday in Port Harcourt during a One-day Meeting/Training with the Rivers State Inter-ministerial Committee on Covid-19.
Nwauzi said that the aim of the meeting was to train Managers of Hotels in the state on preventive measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state.
“We have lost over N15 billion businesses in the state in over one month, on hospitality, tourism and travels because of Covid-19.
“We have recorded very slow business, some hotels have shut down, events, bars, swimming pools, public fitness, travel agencies, all shut down, so cumulatively when we did the analysis it’s over N15 billion,” Nwauzi stated.
The chairman said that hoteliers were not paying taxes as the Federal Government had said they should not pay for now due to the effect of the pandemic on the economy.
“The effect of low patronage in hotels has made some hoteliers to send their staff on compulsory leave until the situation gets better because over 40 per cent of hotels in the state had shut down.
“We are the worst hit industry by this pandemic, so we started with the preventive measures about a month ago because our staffers are vulnerable, before the state government’s intervention started which is also commendable.
“The unprecedented situation requires everyone to get involved in the preventive measures, so we call on the public to join in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 in the state and the country,” he said.
Mr Paulinus Nsirim, the State Commissioner for Information and Communication commended the state chairman of the hoteliers association for the initiative of spreading the message of prevention of Covid-19 across all hotels in the state.
Nsirim urged all those in hospitality industry to key into the agenda of the state government in the fight against the spread of the virus, saying that government would not compromise the health of Rivers people for money.
He urged all hotels to put the state government’s Covid-19 handbills on personal hygiene out for their customers and staffers to know the steps to take to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Similarly, Dr Juliet Sabastine, Head Infections Prevention and Control, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), talked on the Mode of Transmission of Covid-19 and preventive measures to contain the spread.
Sabastine said that the transmission of the virus goes through an agent, who plays host as reservoir and transfers it from person to person.
She urged the public to regularly wash their hands with soap under running water, maintain social distance of at least two meters apart from the next person and use face masks. Credit:NAN