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April 27, 2020

French firm Total confirms Covid-19 cases in Congo

French oil and gas company Total has reported 14 cases of Covid-19 in its operations in Congo.

By Himaja Ganta

French oil and gas company Total has reported 14 cases of Covid-19 in its operations in Congo.

The cases include two of its own staff, Reuters reported.

A Total document said the infected people started showing symptoms last week, when they were taken onshore and quarantined. The company then informed Congo authorities about the cases.

The news agency quoted Total as saying: “Contact subjects are systematically identified and placed in isolation for observation. In addition, the sites are disinfected regularly and a medical visit takes place every day for all staff.”

However, the company also said regular output at the operations, which stands at 190,000 barrels per day (bpd), has not been affected due to the incident.

Congo officials were not immediately available to comment on the positive cases.

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Congo’s economy is expected to shrink by 9% this year amid the coronavirus pandemic and due to the oil price crash.

Since the country’s first case on 15 March, Congo has reported 200 positive coronavirus diagnoses and eight deaths.

Meanwhile, the worldwide death toll from the virus has increased to more than 206,549 as of the end of 26 April, while recoveries have increased to around 865,836. The total confirmed cases worldwide have passed 2,971,669.

Last week, Total brokered a deal to acquire oil and gas exploration firm Tullow’s entire stake in the Lake Albert development project in Uganda for $575m.

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