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Union points out covid outbreak at Petrobras, citing ‘robust procedures’



São Paulo – Survey by the Unified Oil Tankers Union of São Paulo (Sindipetro-SP) points to “an outbreak of covid-19” at Petrobras. According to the organization, in a period of two months, from November 3 to the last day 4, 1,605 new cases of infection with the new coronavirus were registered. The union cites monitoring bulletins from the Ministry of Mines and Energy as a source.

“The number is greater than the sum of the first four months of the pandemic in Brazil,” says Sindipetro-SP. “Between February 26 – the date of confirmation of the first case of the disease in the country – and June 29, 1547 contaminated workers from the state company were confirmed”, he adds.

Relationship with work

Thus, in total, the total number of infected by covid-19 at Petrobras would reach 4,030. The number corresponds to 8.7% of the company’s own employees (46,416). Proportion above the registered in the country – 3.7% of contaminated in a universe of 212 million inhabitants.

“This high concentration of cases had already been pointed out in a scientific opinion prepared by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), in October”, says the text signed by Guilherme Weimann and published on the union’s website. According to him, the document showed that the “diagnosis of covid-19 in oil tankers is presumably related to work”. Coronavirus cases at the company amounted to 4,448 for every 100 thousand people, “an incidence greater than double that seen in the Brazilian population, which was about 2 thousand cases”.

Accelerated increase

According to the report, since November unions in the category have been denouncing the “accelerated increase” of contamination. Mainly, they point out, on oil exploration and production platforms. “In them, during the pandemic, there has been a seven-day isolation journey, 21 days of seagoing vessels and 14 days of rest.”

The Single Federation of Oil Workers (FUP), which brings together 13 unions, had been demanding the disclosure of the total number of contaminated by covid-19 at Petrobras, including outsourced workers. However, according to the entity, this happened only in the monitoring bulletin of May 4. “When 1,037 oil tankers had already been contaminated and another 1642 were under suspicion, out of a total of 151,539 employees, including their own and outsourced workers.”

“Most accurate” chart

Through the advisory, Petrobras stated that currently (until last Wednesday, the 6th) there are 223 confirmed cases of covid-19 being monitored, among its approximately 45 thousand employees ”. According to the company, another 57 “tested positive in the screening process, being asymptomatic”.

The company claims to adopt “robust procedures in all its units since the beginning of the pandemic”. On platforms, for example, monitoring is done from 14 days before departure, when all are tested. So far, according to Petrobras, more than 450 thousand tests have been carried out, which allows a “more accurate picture than that of society in general”.

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