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Two oil and gas PSUs report one COVID-19 case each

The news comes at a time when oil and gas PSUs have been at the forefront of delivering essential services to people during the Coronavirus lockdown

  • A 33-year-old contractual employee at BPCL, who was working in the canteen’s back-end at its Mumbai Refinery, has died of COVID-19

  • A confirmed case of Coronavirus has been reported at ONGC’s Mumbai office allegedly and the premises have been sealed in the aftermath, a source said

New Delhi: Two cases of COVID-19 have been reported at two Maharatna oil and gas PSUs — BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited) and ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation). The news comes at a time when oil and gas PSUs have been at the forefront of delivering essential services to people during the Coronavirus lockdown and have also resumed 511 projects aimed towards providing employment to people and rejuvenating the economy.

BPCL contractual employee dies of COVID-19

A spokesperson for BPCL confirmed that a 33-year-old contractual employee at BPCL, who was working in the canteen’s back-end at its Mumbai Refinery, has died of COVID-19 on April 22. The employee had stopped coming to work from April 13 and had been diagnosed with Typhoid by local medical practitioners initially.

“It was only on April 20 that he was found COVID-19 positive. However, the news of his death was conveyed to the municipal corporation immediately. In the aftermath, the premises of the Refinery were fumigated and 18 employees who came in contact have been quarantined. Thermal scanning has been in place and mandatory for all employees, irrespective of rank and level, and staffs are referred to the refinery medical centre, if the body temperature is above normal. All the protocol is being observed strictly to prevent infections,” the spokesperson said. He added that operations have not been affected because of the infection and are being carried out on the same scale as before.

A source at BPCL, who spoke to PSU Watch on the condition of anonymity, said that after the case has come to light, the management is trying to make arrangement for contractual workers who are engaged by BPCL to stay within the premises of the refinery itself. “Most of these contractual workmen live outside in clusters, so it is quite possible that they could be carrying the infection. However, the management is now trying to address it by making lodging arrangements for such workers within the refinery premises.”

One employee found Coronavirus positive at ONGC

According to another source at ONGC, a confirmed case of Coronavirus has been reported at ONGC’s Mumbai office and the premises have been sealed in the aftermath and employees have been quarantined. Efforts were made to confirm the news from the management but no response was received at the time this story was published. ONGC had said earlier that it has been maintaining its essential operations, while ensuring “full compliance of the government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines — like maintaining social-distancing, personal hygiene, work-from-home, etc.”