Workers of Chevron Nigeria Limited returning to the company’s Escravos operations during the current coronavirus pandemic period will have to undergo a compulsory two-week supervised quarantine.
This is one of the highlights of a new regime of precautionary measures announced by the company on Wednesday to safeguard its operational base to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus in the area.
Although the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/CNL Joint Venture (NNPC/CNL JV) operator said it has continued to operate safely without any coronavirus-related incidents, it adopted the new measures as a further assurance against the deadly virus.
CNL’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Esimaje Brikinn, said the precautionary safeguards would enable the company to provide a controlled environment for very close monitoring of the personnel during the period of the supervised quarantine.
Mr Brikinn said in order to make the safeguard effective, all personnel would first be required to provide a comprehensive travel history before they are placed in the supervised quarantine.
On reports that CNL quarantined some of its staff suspected of having the coronavirus in a hotel in Warri, Delta State, Mr Brikinn denied the story, saying none of the company’s employees is known to have contracted the COVID-19 virus.
“Based on the directive issued by the Federal Government of Nigeria regarding sustained operations in the oil and gas industry during the period of the Coronavirus pandemic, CNL entered into arrangements with some hotels and other facilities in Warri and Lagos where our staff on rotational duties would be accommodated. During their stay there, their health statuses are monitored to ensure they do not have the COVID-19 virus before returning to work at the company’s Escravos Operations,” he said.
The first group of personnel scheduled for the quarantine, the spokesperson said, were moved to the designated facilities on Friday, April 10, with other groups expected to follow based on a schedule.
He said the designated personnel would be required to strictly maintain social distancing protocols, personal hygiene, and use of appropriate personal protective equipment during the supervised quarantine period.
“We are also working with the hotels and other facilities where the personnel will be placed, to ensure that the hotels and facilities maintained high levels of sanitation and follow strict adherence to all COVID 19 protocols,” he stated.
Mr Brikinn said at the end of the two weeks, only those who would be certified free of the COVID-19 virus would be moved to Escravos.
He said anyone with suspected symptoms of the virus during the period would be subjected to further testing for confirmation and subsequently transferred to government designated hospitals for further handling in line with the government approved protocols.
“Chevron continues to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world and has been utilising the guidance of local and international health authorities.
“We are regularly updating our workforce and will continue to adjust plans as appropriate as we receive more information.
“Our top priority is to ensure the wellbeing and safety of our workforce and their family members, and we are taking precautionary measures to reduce the risk of exposure,” he said.
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