Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources has instructed oil and gas firms to reduce the workforce on offshore platforms.

The measure is part of the government’s plans to contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in the country.

The restrictions come after the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) announced six workers on the Siem Marlin offshore rig were diagnosed with Covid-19 late last week, according to Reuters.

Siem Marlin is an offshore support vessel for oil rigs sitting offshore Lagos, in Nigeria.

DPR director Sarki Auwalu said offshore travel would now need a permit. He continued: “Non-essential staff currently at offshore/remote locations should be withdrawn with immediate effect.

“Staff rotation less than 28 days/28 days is hereby temporarily suspended. This implies that staff are required to stay a minimum of 28 days at these locations per rotation.”

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By GlobalData

On 29 March, 14 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Nigeria, with total confirmed cases count at 111 in the country. Authorities have reported one death from Covid-19 so far.

Auwalu added: “Representation by government agencies at offshore/remote locations shall be limited to a maximum of one person per rotation.

“You are to ensure strict compliance with the above while we continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as required.”

Coronavirus global impact

Global deaths from Covid-19 virus have crossed 31,191, while the confirmed cases stand at 672,086. About 143,870 are reported to have recovered from the virus. Currently, the global recovery rate stands at 45.33%.

The US has overtaken Italy as the country with the most Covid-19 positive cases, with the number of confirmed cases standing at 86,000. The number of deaths in the US has reached 1,300 so far.