Czech state-owned hard coal mining group OKD closed all its mining operations for next six weeks starting on July 3, to mitigate a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the company announced in a press release.
“Since we registered the first infected employee, we have taken many anti-epidemic measures, we have complied with all regulations of the Regional Hygiene Station, including restrictions on contact between shifts,” said the chairman of the board of directors of OKD Vanda Stankova.
“However, testing at the CSM mine confirmed the high incidence of positive cases. We are not epidemiological experts and we still fully trust experts in regional hygiene, but after considering the above, we ourselves decided to shut mines for six weeks at all OKD mines,” Stankova added.
“Subsequently, we will only perform the necessary work to ensure the safety of the mine. They will be maintained by around 200 employees at each location. ... In addition to mining, the interruption also concerns the excavation of mine workings,” noted OKD's director of operations David Hajek.
“To date, 158 employees, mostly from the Darkov locality, have returned to work after the illness. We are very pleased that the majority of our sick employees have an asymptomatic course of the disease, however, we consider it responsible to shut mining for six weeks anyway and adapt the operation to the current situation,” added OKD executive director Radim Tabasek.