NHIS Guidelines for Containing Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19)

COVID-19 as coined by WHO is an infectious disease caused by the Coronavirus.    The symptoms include the following: 

1. Fever 

2. Tiredness  

3. Dry cough 

4. Aches and pains 

5. Nasal congestion 

6. Sneezing 

7. Runny nose 

8. Sore throat 

9. Diarrhoea 

10. Difficulty in breathing

Many people are infected but do not show symptoms, while some develop mild symptoms  (1 – 9 above). The elderly and those with underlying health conditions such as heart  diseases, diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure may be more vulnerable and develop  serious symptoms including difficulty in breathing and even death. 

The virus can spread through person-to-person contact:   

• Droplets from nose and mouth (exhalation, coughing, sneezing) directly.   

• In droplets on object or surfaces introduced into the eye, nose or mouth. 

The Management of NHIS is concerned with the health of its staff, their families and  Nigerians in general. It therefore wishes to issue the following guidelines for NHIS staff,  in line with directives of the Government of Nigeria, its agencies and the recommendations  of WHO: 

1. All non-essential staff from grade levels 1 – 12 are to compulsorily stay and work  from home until further notice. 

2. Wash your hands frequently with running water and soap for at least 10 – 20 seconds 
3. Endeavour not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands. 

4. Endeavour to cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you  cough or sneeze. Dispose of the used tissue immediately and appropriately. 

5. Limit the number of visitors to very essential ones. 

6. All staff to reduce non-essential visits even outside office hours; avoid every  gathering as much as possible.   

7. Maintain social distancing of up to 2 meters while in a gathering. 

8. Ensure the use of infrared temperature devices provided at all NHIS offices  nationwide. 

9. Ensure the use of hand sanitizers and facial masks provided at all NHIS offices  nationwide 

10. Clean surfaces with disinfectants frequently. 

11. Officers who have recently travelled outside the Country should self-isolate from 

the office for at least 2 weeks and inform Human Resources and Administration  Department, appropriately. 

12. Staff to abide by the directives of their host State Governments concerning stay and  work from home.   

13. In States where complete lockdown is declared, NHIS offices are to comply with  the directives.   

14. Staff with any of the indicated symptoms, especially those who have travelled  outside the Country recently, or have had close contact with persons confirmed for 
COVID-19 should self-report to NCDC on 0800970000 – 10. 

15. In view of the current situation, all enrolment services are suspended till further  notice. However, all NHIS contact centre numbers should be kept functional at this  time and enrollees should be advised to make use of them. 

16. All staff are mandated to keep themselves updated on COVID-19 regularly by  visiting https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019, 
www.nhis.gov.ng, https://ncdc.gov.ng/ and http://www.health.gov.ng/


1. For purpose of clarity and in view of current circumstances, essential staff in NHIS 

include the following: 

a. Staff in the Office of Executive Secretary.   

b. Staff in the Office of Heads of Departments (HoDs), Statutory Divisions, Zonal  and State Coordinators. 

c. Staff of the Registry in the Headquarters. 

d. Plant Operators, Drivers of HoDs and Staff Buses. 

e. ICT staff responsible for maintaining the Enrollee Database and other network  resources. 

2. This guideline is subject to review as the situation unfolds.