Karviná, North Moravia, July 2 (CTK) – The OKD company will suspend mining in all mines in the Karviná area of north Moravia as of Friday after results of blanket coronavirus testing in its ČSM mines uncovered a high incidence of COVID-19 among their employees, OKD spokeswoman Naďa Chattová told CTK today.
In the ČSM mines, 704 of the 3,403 employees tested were positive for COVID-19. That equates to 20.7 percent, but the vast majority of them had no or only very mild symptoms of the disease, Petr Kopřivík, from the Regional Public Health Office in Ostrava, told CTK.
“The [miners] did not process this as an illness. They had no idea they were infected and this was not apparent in them, either,” Kopřivík said
“It is hard to blame them for anything, as they looked healthy and thought they were as well.”
In the infection clusters in the ČSM-Sever (North) and ČSM-Jih (South) mines, a total of 850 infected have now been confirmed, he added.
The mining of the OKD company is to be discontinued for six months.
So far, it has been discontinued in the Darkov mine only, where the first COVID-19 infection cluster emerged two months ago.
“As of today, 158 employees, mainly from the Darkov mine, have returned to work after recovering from the disease. We are very glad that most of our ill employees have no symptoms of the disease, but despite that we consider it our responsibility to suspend mining for six weeks and adapt the operation to the current situation,” OKD executive director Radim Tabášek said.
Only work needed to secure the workplaces for a long-term shutdown will be conducted in the mines as of July 3.
“Subsequently, we will only carry out the necessary work to secure the mines’ safety. About 200 employees in each locality will be in charge of this,” OKD operation director David Hajek said.