Equatorial Guinea issues mandate for oil and gas worker vaccinations
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CAPE TOWN– All oil and gas workers in Equatorial Guinea will be vaccinated against Covid-19 after the country’s minister of mines and hydrocarbons, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, issued a mandate to maintain prevention measures and ensure operational safety within the oil and gas sector.
According to the mines and hydrocarbons ministry, the Lima issued the mandate during a virtual meeting this month for all oil and gas workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
It said the mandate had been enforced to drive the country’s vaccination rollout programme, ensuring increased operations and production across the hydrocarbons sector while safeguarding workers against the virus.
By requiring all oil and gas workers, including both national and expatriate employees to be vaccinated, the MMH is paving the way for other industries to put the safety of their workers first.
“It is forbidden for unvaccinated individuals to work on onshore or offshore facilities. They are public servants and must be protected,” Lima said in the virtual meeting.
According to figures, Equatorial Guinea has recorded 8,951 cases and 123 Covid-19 related deaths.
Despite experiencing relatively low Covid-19 cases compared to other African countries, Equatorial Guinea’s oil and gas sector suffered significant impacts from the pandemic throughout 2020 and into 2021, the ministry said.
With Equatorial Guinea prioritising its vaccination rollout programme, the country received a shipment of 500,000 Sinopharm vaccines from China at the end of June with more expected to follow.
Additionally, in the virtual meeting, the MMH and the ministry of health and social welfare have requested an increase in the number of weekly flights to Equatorial Guinea, specifically for the oil and gas sector. Requested through the Political Committee of Surveillance Against Covid-19, the MMH is focused on boosting oil and gas productivity while maintaining the safety of employees.
“Equatorial Guinea has taken the right steps in driving oil and gas productivity by ensuring that the oil and gas sector is both a safe and productive working environment for all oil and gas employees,” Lima said.
“Africa’s oil and gas sector can lead the way in the continent’s vaccination rollout and we are thankful to the government’s Covid-19 committee and other ministries within Equatorial Guinea.”