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 Offshore Covid Patients Under State Supervision

Offshore Covid Patients Under State Supervision

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

ALL persons who tested positive for Covid-19 from the Teak platforms owned by Perenco have been placed in state supervised quarantine and are in fairly good health.

This was the update given by Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram on Wednesday regarding the Perenco workers who contracted the virus recently.

So far, 39 workers have tested positive.

The initial two cases were removed from the platform on December 15 and within three days there were 36 cases.  There was one additional case from the Samaan platform on December 16.  The 36 individuals were brought out into two groups with one batch of 19, Parasram said.

He was speaking during a media conference hosted by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Wednesday.

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Dr Parasram said, “The negative people from the Teak field have also been put into quarantine at the cost of the company in a state supervised facility and they will be followed and retested as the need be. All the other negative individuals on the Samaan and Poui platforms will remain on the rig and retested and remain in state of quarantine until they can be retested in about seven days . Once they are negative, there will be a crew change and they will be allowed to come off.”

Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh said the Ministry of Health was well involved and aware of the Perenco situation and immense cleaning and sanitising were taking place on the Teak platform and other related areas.

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He said, “Hot and cold zones were set up. All bioburden material, food stuff, linen , pillows were santised. All general trash was removed from the platforms and taken onland for incineration. Air quality testing is being done and all human touch areas, catwalks, handrails, cranes and hooks, their sleeping accommodation, their control rooms, their utility rooms, all of these are being sanitised, cleaned so that operations could start back.”

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Deyalsingh said the Ministry of Health  wrote to the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of National Security  on December 19 upon learning of the outbreak on December 15. He said the union had a right to be concerned about the workers’ situation and the ministry has responded to the union’s concerns.

He appealed to all business to strictly adhere to health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of the virus and that as result of the Covid-19 cases, Perenco will lose some of its production capacity.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said of all the sectors that were shut down in order to manage the spread of the virus, there was no barrier to the energy sector which was the main income earner for the country which has been doing well up.

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Minister of National Security Stuart Young said the energy sector continued to be tightly managed and he recently turned away three plane loads of foreign national workers attempting to enter the country because they did not have their required PCR tests. He added that the spread of the virus on the Teak platform was done by a national of Trinidad and Tobago.

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