The Indian state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has suspended work at two drilling rigs in the Arabian Sea after 54 employees tested positive for Covid-19, one of whom died.

India has the fourth-most cases in the world, with over 440,000 people testing positive for Covid-19. However, its death rate of just ten per million people is among the lowest in the world, showing how few cases are reaching fatal stages.

Prior to these 54 positive tests, work at ONGC’s facilities had not been impeded, with the Mumbai High oil field producing around 170,000 barrels of oil per day, while the Bassein field produces 60,000 barrels of oil per day. However, with ONGC announcing plans to suspend operations and airlift affected workers to shore, the company’s projects are finally suffering from the elevated risk of Covid-19 on oil rigs, where isolated work and employees’ close proximity to one another can encourage the spread of the virus.