ZAMBIA Chamber of Mines president Goodwell Mateyo says individual mining companies are urgently reviewing all available contingency plans to effectively deal with the Coronavirus outbreak.
And Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary Barnaby Mulenga says government has officially communicated to all mining companies in the country, through the Chamber, to observe high standards of hygiene.
When asked if underground mines, such as Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Plc, had any contingency plans to deal with the deadly COVID-19 outbreak, Mateyo said individual mining companies would review their own safety protocols accordingly.
“Different mines are starting to look at it quite critically over the next few days. At the moment, we don’t have an industry-wide response, but it is something that is on our radar. I am on the phone to various members of the Council of the Chamber of Mines with a view of having a meeting tomorrow (Thursday) because this has been pretty much short notice,” said Mateyo in an interview.
And in a separate interview, Mulenga said measures announced by Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya were also applicable to the mines.
“Other than the same emergency plans announced by the Minister of Health (Dr Chitalu Chilufya), I think he is the one guiding all of us in terms of cross-cutting on the sectors. They are workers like anybody else so it is the same measures applicable everywhere. Basically, what we have done is to speak to the Chamber of Mines and, basically, encourage the mining companies to observe high standards of hygiene, washing hands and sanitation; the principles we have been guided by the Ministry of Health,” said Mulenga.
Zambia recorded its first two COVID-19 cases in Lusaka, Wednesday, according to Dr Chilufya.