Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) on Wednesday described as baseless and false, report, alleging it is quarantining some of its staff for contracting the COVID-19 pandemic at some hotels in Warri/Ekpan area of Delta State.
CNL, operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/CNL Joint Venture (NNPC/CNL JV), emphasized that it had not recorded any health issue relating to the COVID-19 pandemic in any of its operations.
The company debunked the allegation in a statement on Wednesday while reacting to online media reports claiming that the multinational company was secretly quarantining some of its staff in hotels in Warri for exhibiting symptoms believed to be Coronavirus.
The statement signed by CNL’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Esimaje Brikinn, however, explained that in a bid to ensure that safety of its staff, the firm introduced a compulsory two-week supervised quarantine for all personnel returning to work at its Escravos Operations during this period of the pandemic.
Brikinn said CNL as a responsible organization had to enact uch precautionary measure to safeguard its workers and as well as prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus into its operations.
According to him, the precautionary safeguard enables CNL to provide a controlled environment for very close monitoring of the personnel during the period of the supervised quarantine. He added that in order to make this safeguard effective, all personnel will first be required to provide a comprehensive travel history before they are placed in the supervised quarantine.
He clarified that based on the Coronavirus directive issued by the Federal Government of Nigeria regarding sustained operations in the oil and gas industry, CNL entered into arrangements with some hotels and other facilities in Warri and Lagos where their staff on rotational duties will be accommodated, and their health status monitored to ensure that they do not have the COVID-19 virus before returning to work at its Escravos Operations.
According to him, the first group of personnel scheduled for quarantine were moved to the designated facilities on Friday, April 10, 2020 and other groups will follow based on the crew change schedule and the personnel will 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 maintain high levels of sanitation and follow strict adherence to all COVID 19 protocols,” he stated.
Brikinns declared that at the end of the two-week period, only those who are certified free of the COVID-19 virus shall be moved to Escravos and that anyone with suspected symptoms during the period will be subjected to further testing 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 utilizing 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 remarked.