The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has taken several precautionary and preventive measures to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The measures do not affect production, which supports Egypt’s economy and provides needs of the local market, according to a press release.
The measures taken included:
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla urged workers in the sector to adhere to implementing the precautionary measures approved by the state in order to protect themselves and their families. El Molla has also conducted field visits to a number of petroleum sites to make sure all precautionary measures have been implemented, and to follow up on all safety measures.
Additionally, the minister issued an order to limit the number of personnel at the workplace without affecting production. Not only that, but wearing masks and practicing social distancing became obligatory in addition to replacing fingerprint devices with magnetic cards, placing sterilization gates at the main gates, and sanitizing all petroleum facilities.
In order to minimize gatherings, the minister has been holding meetings and reviewing the companies’ general assemblies via video conferences. As for working caregivers for children up to 12 years and pregnant women, as well as workers with chronic diseases, they were granted a paid leave during the crisis. Furthermore, Cooperation Petroleum (Copetrole) and Misr Petroleum began providing antiseptic gel and sanitizing products with a 70% alcohol concentration in all its outlets. Petroleum Trading Service Company (PetroTrade) also contributed to providing antiseptic gel and sterilizers in the local market.
The ministry has also released an Emergency Response Plan against COVID-19 which was launched in both Arabic and English. In line with its digital transformation plan, the ministry began offering gas meter readings online instead of providing home visits and allowed for online payment of bills. As for the ministry’s personnel abroad, the ministry has conducted several flights to facilitate the return of workers from their work sites in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Jordan, in addition to following up on their health status upon returning.
The ministry has provided medical centers affiliated with the petroleum sector in Cairo, Alexandria, and Gulf of Suez to treat petroleum workers from COVID-19 so as to not burden quarantine hospitals, in addition to agreeing to equip a number of facilities to be turned into quarantine spaces.
The ministry continues monitoring the situation through the petroleum sector’s Medical Council to take the necessary measures. A sub-emergency committee was established to monitor the situation in each company and notifying the main emergency center of any infections and actions taken daily. Additionally, needed masks are currently being produced by the Suez Safety Outfitters (SSO) according to the specifications announced by the Egyptian General Authority for Standards and Quality.
Finally, a report of the infected and recovered cases is being issued daily to monitor the situation.