The Egyptian branch of JSC Atomstroyexport in Cairo, the general contractor for El Dabaa NPP construction, has strengthened preventive measures to counter the spread of the coronavirus infection (COVID-19). Coronovirus response headquarters that were formed earlier this March operate in accordance with the recommendations fromthe WHO, the Ministry of Health and other government agencies in the Arab Republic of Egypt. The headquarters shift on duty works around the clock to quickly respond to changes in the epidemiological situation relevant to JSC Atomstroyexport operations, including the El Dabaa NPP construction site.
Work on office premises of the Cairo branch is organized in accordance with the recommendations of the WHO and the Ministry of Health of Egypt, employee workplaces are isolated in order to comply with social distancing restrictions. The following efforts are being undertaken at the ASE office in Cairo and the El Dabaa NPP construction site:
- enhanced medical control regime is established; all employees have their temperature taken on a mandatory basis; in case of any signs of cold-related symptoms the employee is sent home, and then visited by a doctor;regular medical check-ups areconducted;
- the entire staff together with their family members have been provided with personal protective equipment and disinfectants;
- the number of buses bringing employees to the site and transporting the employees on the site is increased in order to provide the required social distance between passengers; all common facilities and working areas have been equipped with sanitizer dispensers;
- all office premises undergo disinfection;
- posters informing employees of the personal and collective protection means against infection have been placed in offices and working areas;
- transportation of personnel between the site and the office in Cairo has been decreased in volume, meetings with representatives of the Nuclear Power Plants Authority and contractor representatives are held via conference calls.
Units engaged in implementing these measures, that is, the administrative and maintenance service and the occupational safety, health, and personnel protection department, are on a high alert regime.
An employee of the ASE branch in Cairo, who was diagnosed with the infection in early May, is currently isolated and undergoing specialized treatment. Due to a significant improvement in his condition, he was discharged for outpatient treatment (at home) with necessary self-isolation measures until full recovery. Currently, the employee is under the daily medical supervision. The circle of people who had contact with this employee was established. All of them are also isolated and under constant medical supervision. Based on continuous monitoring of the health status of employees, no new cases of the disease were detected among the employees and their family members. The NPPA was informed about the development of the case, and constant cooperation was established with the agency.
Grigory Sosnin, vice president – director of El Dabaa NPP construction project at ASE Group: “Our main goals are to preserve the health of all employees involved in nuclear power plant construction and to minimize the impact of the stressful epidemiological situation on the project. We are doing everything possible to protect employee health. Preventive measures are being taken everywhere - in common areas, corporate vehicles, at office and industrial premises. Currently, there are no new COVID-19-infection cases at the ASE branch in Cairo. The situation is under control. The implementation of the El Dabaa NPP project is underway in normal mode, considering all necessary safety measures and existing schedules".
The Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom is closely following the situation around the COVID-19 epidemic in the countries where the company is operating, and is taking all necessary measures to protect the health of employees and ensure the safety of both operating nuclear facilities and those under construction.