In a statement, the Chamber said: “As the industry representative, the Chamber is committed to the overall national response led by the PNG Government. The resource industry has taken decisive action to support national efforts to impede the rate of transmission and protect the welfare and safety of our people, while doing what they can to ensure business continuity.
“Operators are working diligently to ensure the health and safety of our employees, minimise the spread of COVID-19 and keep their local communities informed and educated.”
President Gerea Aopi said: “The Chamber understands that the welfare of all employees, both national and expatriate and their families, is of paramount importance to all operators and will work with projects to ensure that the industry workers remain healthy and safe.
“The Chamber would also like to thank major projects such as Ok Tedi, Exxon Mobil, Newcrest, Oil Search, K92 Mines, Total and Porgera for implementing their preparedness plans so promptly. Each of the respective operators are drawing all of their focus on containment, welfare of its employees and making sure operations are safe and secure.
“All of the industry members are communicating regularly with their employees on basic hygiene and information on reducing the risk of contracting or spreading the virus.
“Individual companies are streamlining operations through increasing the number of residential employees and temporarily suspending FIFO employees. In addition, sites are conducting health assessments and temperature screening for all employees arriving from break and are implementing daily temperature screening for those already on site.
“The measures implemented by the industry are in line with measures announced by Prime Minister Marape on Sunday, 22nd March 2020.
“The Chamber of Mines and Petroleum would like the PNG Government to know they are strongly in support of the national effort and the resource industry will continue to be a major contributor to the PNG economy through these extremely challenging times.”
(OTML Charter Aircraft being disinfected; Photo courtesy of OTML)