There has been a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases in the Atyrau region, West Kazakhstan. From May 18 to May 19, there were reported 142 new cases of COVID-19. The regional department of health sent 25 medical workers to the field camp and opened a branch of the regional hospital.
All newly infected patients have been admitted to the infectious diseases hospital where they are receiving treatment according to the appropriate algorithm. According to the emergency operations center of the Atyrau region, all those infected are employees of contracting entities who have undergone mandatory screenings before crew change and leaving the oil field.
Thus, the total number of coronavirus infections at the Tengiz field increased to 689 (769 in the Atyrau region on the whole). The number of recovered patients reached 174.
A sharp increase in infection cases in the field camp has forced local authorities to open a 230-bed hospital for infectious diseases on site. Twenty-five employees of Atyrau Regional Hospital #2 were deployed at the new hospital: three doctors and 22 mid-level and junior health professionals. However, Atyrau emergency center officials admit that the Tengiz field still needs one physician and an infectious disease specialist as well as 8 junior health professionals.
The infectious diseases hospital is also enlisting the help of 32 doctors from the health clinic of the Tengizchevroil company.
As of May 19, there were more than 2000 employees under quarantine at the hospitals. All infected patients are being isolated.
“We had no choice but to establish checkpoints and other quarantine measures around the field because the epidemic could have spiraled out of control and the infection would have reached the city,” the operations center commented.
Three laboratories are collecting and processing test data within the field camp’s perimeter: the Atyrau branch of the National Center of Expertise, Olymp laboratory, and the mobile lab of the Atyrau plague control station. On May 19, the laboratory of the Republic’s National Center of Expertise is to begin work there as well.
The oil field also has a provisional 80-bed hospital and quarantine hospitals with 610 beds.
The first case of COVID-19 at the Tengiz field was reported on April 8. In over a month, the number of infected increased to 689.
Since mid-April, Tengizchevroil started evacuating workers employed in the field. In total, 17,000 people have been demobilized. In March of this year, there were 35,000 workers employed on site.