The Western Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Jacob Mahama is calling for all workers at the Jubilee Oil Field to be quarantined after about 50 more workers tested positive for COVID-19.
He said having the remaining staff quarantined off-shore for the mandatory 14-day period will help in curtailing any further spread of the virus.
A total of 57 petroleum workers at the Jubilee Field operated by Tullow Oil have tested positive for COVID-19.
“I think the best thing will be to quarantine the rest and after 14 days if they don’t show any signs before they move back. They are still off-shore anyway so that will be a better place to quarantined them. After 14 days if they don’t show any signs they come onshore,” said Dr. Mahama in an interview on Eyewitness News.
He said although he is unsure where the cases were imported from unto the vessel off-shore, he believes that the index case possibly did not undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine period the company had made arrangement for, for anyone returning to the field from outside the area.
“Usually, they have a hotel where people are quarantined for 14 days but somehow some of them tested positive. It’s unclear if they [index cases] subjected themselves to the test.”
“This came to the notice on Thursday when I was called by one of their [Tullow] doctors that one of them had tested positive… A day before, they were showing signs of COVID-19 and they flew them to Accra where they tested positive. They came back and screened everybody on board and they also had more people testing positive,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, has charged oil and gas companies to sit-up to avert further spread of COVID-19 at Ghana’s Jubilee Field.
The Minister said the developments at the Jubilee fields could be as a result of some persons failing to strictly follow the COVID-19 preventive practices.
“I know that immediately COVID-19 came, a lot of them were implementing the protocols. Even before you board the FPSO or even before you get onto the helicopter, you are quarantined for 14 days. But I believe that along the line, someone felt that it was too safe to be quarantined, that’s why we could see some of the infections. Currently, we know that we have 57 in the Petroleum sector. They have all been isolated now and we are hoping that those on board will appreciate the reason why they need to follow the protocols,” he said in an interaction with the press.