The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, has commended Chirano Gold Mines Limited, on measures put in place to ensure employees and residents of local communities are protected from COVID-19.
The minister, who paid a working visit to the mine, said the protocols put in place to prevent infections from outside and its strict adherence was proactive and timely.
For instance, although mining workers are exempted from the lockdown announced by the President, Chirano Gold Mines has taken extra steps to lockdown its workforce within the mine site and the catchment areas. The staff of the mine who have the capacity to work from home have been made to do so and those whose presence is required on-site, are confined to the catchment area of the mine.
Chirano Gold Mines has also put in place medical screening for all persons visiting the site, and the temperatures of workers are checked before they get on buses to work, others not on buses are checked at the entrance, on a daily basis.
Also, Veronica buckets with soap for hand washing, and hand sanitizers have been placed at vantage points all over the mine, while social distancing is strictly being enforced.
Also, to protect the catchment community from the deadly coronavirus, the mine has disinfected the local communities, including homes and markets. It has rolled out a sensitisation programme to educate residents on COVID-19.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, who went through thorough medical screening with his entourage before the inspection, was confident that the measure will substantially contribute to keeping the virus off the mine.
He was equally impressed with Chirano preparedness to contain a possible outbreak of COVID-19, in the unlikely event that an infection is recorded on the Mine.
Chirano Gold Mines has established an isolation center and equipped it with coronavirus test kits, personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other essential medical supplies.
The minister said he had been mandated to inspect and assess the measures being put in place by the mining companies to protect employees and described the measures being undertaken by Chirano Gold Mines as a benchmark for other mines to emulate.
The Vice President and General Manager of Chirano Gold Mines, Terence Watungwa assured the minister that the existing measures will be sustained and new ones will be rolled out as the coronavirus situation evolves to protect employees and local communities.