|Workers on duty in a Petrovietnam project. (Photo: Petrovietnam)
Proactive, aggressive policy with "multiple rounds-multiple layers"
While the COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the world, new outbreaks have occurred in many Asian countries, including those bordering Vietnam. New clusters of COVID-19 community cases have also been detected in Vietnam. Since late April, Vietnam has recorded 643 cases of community infections in almost 30 provinces and cities nationwide.
Petrovietnam has defined pandemic response a key task as it is closely following solution and activating safety measures that match various scenarios.
At a recent online meeting with leaders from the group’s 8 member units nationwide, Petrovietnam’s President and CEO Le Manh Hung asked the staff to analyze risks and apply appropriate preventive solutions in order to ensure production and business activities and fulfill tasks.
The Group’s leaders have issued a series of directives, urging member units to review personnel and healthcare facilities for their employees during the pandemic, especially those working at oil rigs, factories, and construction sites. All units are asked to stay on high alert and deal with any situation may it arise. Online meetings are encouraged while working routines are rescheduled with the enforcement of 5K regulations (Khau trang (facemask), Khu khuan (disinfection), Khoang cach (distance), Khong tu tap (no gathering), and Khai bao y te (health declaration)) to prevent the virus from spreading.
The Group has set up emergency taskforces, which are on duty around the clock to provide information if any infections within the group are detected.
|A Petrovietnam employee is given a COVID-19 vaccine shot. (Photo: Petrovietnam)
Preventive measures have been strictly carried out at Petrovietnam’s affiliates. Vietsopetro has tightened health declaration and COVID-19 testing for its staff, contractors, and partners before sending them to offshore projects if they return or come from cities or provinces with COVID-19 infections within 14 days before their departure to offshore projects.
Petrovietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP) has done its best to prevent the spread of the virus at its working places and offshore oil rigs while ensuring production continuity. PVEP has launched healthcare consulting and support package for its staff on special duty in Algeria.
In any worsening situations during the pandemic, Vietsopetro and PVEP are ready for setting up taskforces, spraying disinfectant, and rearranging working shifts, to make sure that production is uninterrupted.
PV Gas strictly abides by preventive measures to ensure its working pace. The company has accelerated its communications, highlighting the importance of PREVENTION in the fight against COVID-19.
|Throat and nasal swab samples are collected for COVID-19 PCR testing of workers at Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Joint Stock Company (BSR) (Photo: Petrovietnam)
After new cases of COVID-19 were detected in Da Nang and Quang Ngai in central Vietnam, Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Joint Stock Company (BSR) activated its level 1 pandemic alert system.
BSR cooperated with the Quang Ngai provincial Disease Control Center to collect throat and nasal swab samples for COVID-19 PCR testing on 138 workers. These workers were only allowed to work at the Dung Quat Oil Refinery after receiving negative test results for COVID-19 on May 9.
BSR also arranged accommodation for 200 staff directly involved in operating the Dung Quat Oil Refinery while stocking food and necessities for 30 days in case COVID-19 outbreaks in Quang Ngai spreads quickly and the circulation of goods is stagnant.
|Workers of Phu My fertilizer plant wear face masks at work. (Photo: Petrovietnam)
At Phu My Fertilizer Plant (Petrovietnam Fertilizer and Chemicals Corporation), where maintenance is taking place with the support of several foreign experts, "multiple rounds-multiple layers" measures are stricter than ever. Experts are provided private working office and daily health monitoring. Experts mainly communicate via walkie-talkie and mobile phone. If an expert has to visit a working site, staff at the site are informed of his or her presence. The expert’s itinerary, places they visit and people they meet are recorded for further monitoring.
Other affiliates of Petrovietnam including Petrovienam Power Corporation (PV Power), Petrovietnam Drilling and Well Service Corporation (PV Drilling), Petrovietnam Technical Services Corporation (PTSC), Petrovietnam Camau Fertilizer Joint Stock Company (PVCFC), Bien Dong Petroleum Operating Company (BIEN DONG POC), and Song Hau Thermal Power Plant (Song Hau 01), preventive measures are being strictly observed.
Petrovietnam has so far recorded no COVID-19 infection cases.
Challenges posed by the pandemic have not discouraged the Vietnamese people. On the contrary, such difficulties have pushed society to adapt to a new situation and keep moving forward. This also applies to Petrovietnam’s employees working all over the world, from continents to maritime areas and Sahara desert, from Qatar to Russia, Peru, Malaysia, and Cambodia. Relocating workers from offshore complexes and offices abroad is not an easy task.
Petrovietnam has done its best to encourage its staff working offshore and abroad to stay safe and stay strong during the pandemic.
Thousands of Petrovietnam employees have been stranded on duty abroad since the pandemic broke out in early 2020. They include PVEP staff working for years at a mine in the middle of the Sahara desert with harsh weather and living conditions, those working on PVTrans vessels stuck in international seas, and those spending months aboard the Hai Phong PTSC vessel in Malaysia as this country shut down its border due to COVID-19.
They have stayed away from their families for years, some of them did not have a chance to see their old parents for the last time. They have braved pain and hardship to accomplish tasks.
During this difficult time, Petrovietnam workers have received encouragement from their leaders who were sending them regards via telephone calls, emails, offering them extra wages and allowances, and visiting their families and relatives.
During the pandemic, Petrovietnam has witnessed many moving stories of co-workers’ patience, solidarity, sacrifices, and sharing. The story of Le Ba Tuan is a case in point.
Tuan is currently working for a PVEP oil and gas exploration project in Algeria. He embarked on his mission in February, 2020, when the pandemic broke out and since then he has been unable to return home. As the situation worsened in Europe and some North African countries, including Algeria, international flights were canceled and these countries shut their borders. Fortunately, in July, 2020, the Vietnamese government organized a repatriation flight for Vietnamese citizens in Algeria departing from France. But Tuan, the most senior member who was longing for meeting his sick wife and very old father, finally gave his reserved seat on the flight to a younger co-worker. That flight was the last chance for the Vietnamese people in Algeria to return home until now.
|Petrovietnam representatives present gifts to poor people nationwide. (Photo: Petrovietnam)
Although the pandemic is now basically under control in Vietnam, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh warned of high risks and said Vietnam is shifting from “defense” to “preemption” mode of COVID-19 response. Following the government’s policy on COVID-19 vaccinations, Petrovietnam has worked with the Ministry of Health to vaccinate its staff, becoming one of the first economic groups in Vietnam to begin vaccine inoculation.
Although COVID-19 is evolving complicatedly and Petrovietnam is running projects in areas with a surge of COVID-19 cases and employing a large number of foreign experts coming to Vietnam from pandemic-hit areas, the Group has ensured safe and smooth operation. These results demonstrate Petrovietnam’s aggressive, proactive leadership and their comprehensive anti-pandemic measures plus the seriousness, solidarity, consensus, and sacrifices of the workforce who are wholeheartedly dedicated to fulfilling tasks. That’s the willpower and culture of Petrovietnam.