ArcelorMittal Reports First COVID-19 Case

BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – Mining giant ArcelorMittal has reported its first case of COVID-19 in the mining concession area in Buchanan, Grand Bassa.

In a press release, the company said the positive case report came after a second test on the patient returned positive although the initial test result read negative.

“Even though the earlier test was negative, the employee and family have remained in precautionary isolation since that time and will continue in isolation following this new test,” the company said.

ArcelorMittal said family members of the patient are feeling well and none have shown any symptoms of COVID-19 yet.

The company said it is providing all the necessary support, and contact tracing has also been launched to track those with whom the staff might have come in contact. An undisclosed number of the company’s staff has also been placed in precautionary isolation.

“Their conditions have been monitored by suitably qualified doctors, with none displaying symptoms of COVID-19,” the company added.

ArcelorMittal also revealed that the relevant county and national health authorities are closely involved, as the County Health Team is overseeing the management of the case. At the same time, an investigation is ongoing to establish the possible source of infection.

The company said it had stringent measures in place throughout its three concession counties (Grand Bassa, Bong, and Nimba) to limit the spread of the disease. The measures included the mandatory wearing of face masks, setting up of handwashing facilities, enforcement of social distancing measures, closure of businesses operating in the concession at 3:00 p.m. daily, and staff being asked to work from home where possible.

“As a responsible business partner to Liberia and a company that places high importance on the health, safety, and wellbeing of its workforce and the public, AML has been a pro-active key player in the fight against the Coronavirus,” the statement also noted.

The company mentioned that it had ordered additional medical supplies and equipment for its hospitals and is supporting the fight against COVID-19 at the community, county, and governmental levels.

Last week, ArcelorMittal had donated additional medical supplies to aid in the country’s fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, after a previous commitment of US$100,000 worth of medical supplies. It promised to continue working closely with partners and stakeholders throughout this crisis.

Featured photo by Sampson David

Gbatemah Senah

Senah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. Between 2017 and 2019, he won six excellent reporting awards from the Press Union of Liberia. They include a three-time Land Rights Reporter of the Year, one time Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Human Rights Reporter of the Year.

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