As the global death toll of the COVID 19 pandemic rises to more than 35,000, there is a growing concern about the virus’s impact on the oil and gas industry and the economy as a whole.
In support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of Ghana’s efforts to address the threat, the Ghana Upstream Petroleum Chamber is working with companies in the sector, to take precautionary measures to avoid the spread of the virus. A full procedural protocol has been put in place by member companies to prevent and support treatment, should there be a case of an infection.
In a press release dated 30th March 2020, the Chamber acknowledged governments efforts to combat the novel virus and assured of its commitment to follow precautionary guidelines. Amongst other policies, Offshore travel restrictions are being observed and many expatriate staff outside the country have deferred travel until a later date.
Employees who have recently travelled from high risk areas of the world, are not allowed to travel offshore, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. Those who have travelled from low risk countries are required to self-quarantine and seek medical advice if they have the symptoms.
GUPC indicates in the statement that Anyone suspected of having an infection both offshore and onshore will be placed in immediate quarantine following the guidelines provided by the Government of Ghana and the respective company guidelines and safety measures.
However, So far no one in the industry has tested positive for the virus and members of the Chamber are being urged to do all in their power to reduce the workforce’s risk of exposure.
The press release also stated that “To support the efforts laid forward by the Government, and to protect staff, stakeholders and the communities we operate in, some companies have also implemented and activated their Emergency Response Plans and Business Continuity Plans. This means all non- essential and non-critical operational staff are working from home, or remotely”