Nearly 120 now infected in COVID-19 outbreak at coal mine
Moravia-Silesia public health officers have recorded 113 employees of the Darkov black-coal mine and six of their relatives infected with COVID-19, and the number of the infected is likely to increase, the authority’s spokesman Radim Mudra told CTK today.
Some 1,800 people work in the OKD company’s mine and the coal-processing plant. The infection appeared among the miners last week. Eleven tested positive on Friday and the number of confirmed infections rose to 17 on Sunday. Public health officers then ordered testing of a high number of the mine’s employees.
Mudra said samples from 791 people were taken on May 18 and 88 of them tested positive for coronavirus. Two mine rescuers tested positive as well, he added.
The public health officers said the employees had no symptoms and so they passed the entrance check at work as they had no fever and they had no problems when doing hard manual work.
On Monday, the regional public health office and OKD discussed the situation.
Strict sanitary measures have been applied in the mine, including the use of hand disinfectants and temperature checks by thermic cameras when entering the mine. The mine staff must wear respirators, gloves and protective goggles. The common areas are disinfected thrice a day, she added.
The OKD is the only black-coal producer in the Czech Republic. It is mining coal in the vicinity of Karvina in the CSA, Darkov, CSM-Sever (North) and CSM-Jih (South) mines where a total of 8,400 people work, 2,000 of whom are foreigners, mainly Poles.
Since the beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country, the Moravia-Silesia Region has reported 1,307 infected.
The infection has been spreading in coal mines in neighboring Poland for several weeks. More than 2,700 employees of the coal mines in Silesia have tested positive, according to the association of the OKD miners’ trade unions.