The Equatorial Guinean Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, HE Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, issued a mandate for all oil and gas workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, during a virtual meeting earlier this month. In the oil and gas sector, the Ministry is leading the way in maintaining preventative measures and ensuring operational safety.
The mandate is to help the country’s immunisation programme get off the ground, ensuring enhanced operations and production in the hydrocarbons industry and protecting workers from the virus.
The Minister reaffirmed his commitment to growing the country’s oil and gas industry while limiting the virus’s spread. The EGMMH is paving the way for other industries to prioritise worker safety by requiring all oil and gas workers to get vaccinated, including national and foreign employees.
Despite having a modest number of COVID-19 infections compared to other African countries, the pandemic had a substantial impact on Equatorial Guinea’s oil and gas sector in 2020 and 2021. The oil and gas sector is driving progress in Equatorial Guinea, which is prioritising its vaccination rollout programme. The country received a shipment of 500,000 Sinopharm vaccinations from China at the end of June 2021, with more set to follow.
The EGMMH and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare have also sought an increase in the number of weekly flights to Equatorial Guinea, specifically for the oil and gas sector, at the meeting. The Political Committee of Surveillance Against COVID-19 made the request.
He said: “It is forbidden for unvaccinated individuals to work on onshore or offshore facilities. They are public servants and must be protected.”
“Equatorial Guinea has taken the right steps in driving oil and gas productivity by ensuring that the oil and gas sector is both a safe and productive working environment for all oil and gas employees. Africa’s oil and gas sector can lead the way in the continent’s vaccination rollout and we are thankful to the government’s covid committee and other Ministries within Equatorial Guinea,” he added.