By George Busiinge
China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Uganda Ltd, a Chinese firm licensed to operate the Kingfisher oil field has halted activities in Kikuube district due to an Ebola scare.
The suspension of activities follows the death of a suspected Ebola patient at the Buhuka Health Centre on Saturday, July 20, 2019.
Reports from the area indicate that the said patient who reported to the Health Centre with Ebola-like symptoms was a Congolese National who had crossed to Uganda for treatment.
CNOOC Uganda Public Relations Supervisor, Amina Bukenya, confirmed that all their field staff in the area have been recalled to Kampala for health safety reasons.
She says the decision is in line with the company’s Health, safety and Environment (HSE) requirements that emphasize the safety of workers at all times.
Bukenya while speaking to Earthfinds says the workers will return to the field once the Ministry of Health and other partners assure them that the place is free of Ebola. CNOOC Uganda, that has a camp in the area, has since closed off any outsiders and instructed all its staff to stay within the camp.
Sources indicate the Petroleum Authority of Uganda has also advised its staff to suspend activities in the area.
Dr Joseph Kobusheshe, the Director Environment, ICT and Data Management in his communication to all the Authority’s staff says the victim was a fisherman living within the area.
Dr Kobusheshe further says as a precautionary measure, all CNOOC activities within Kingfisher Development Area have been stopped and no entry or exit is allowed at Bugoma camp until the Ministry of Health confirms the findings of the analysis.
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