COVID-19 Cases in PT Freeport Area Drop Drastically

08 March 2022

COVID-19 transmission trend in PT Freeport Indonesia mining area in Mimika Regency, Papua Province continues to drop drastically for the last few days. Vice President Government Relations PT Freeport Indonesia, Jonny Lingga in Timika, Sunday, said until Friday (4/6), only 120 active cases are remaining within the Freeport area, with two workers are still hospitalized. “It seems that we have passed the peak of the COVID-19 case. If from the end of January to the end of February the number of active cases was more than 1,000, now there are 120 remaining cases. Most of the workers who are infected only experienced mild symptoms, or even had no symptoms at all, so most of the patients were self-isolating," explained Jonny.

Considering this condition, the management of PT Freeport Indonesia is now planning to reopen some public facilities such as restaurants, gyms, and others that were closed following the surge of COVID-19 cases in mid-January this year. "Starting next week we will reopen the facilities that were closed," he said.

During the increase in COVID-19 cases in the Freeport area from mid-January to late February, there is no death case due to COVID-19 specifically in the Freeport area. This condition is much different from the peak of the delta variant of COVID-19 cases in June to September 2021, where some Freeport employees and their subcontractor companies died due to exposure to COVID-19. Although the number of COVID-19 cases in the Freeport area continues to decline, Jonny asked workers to continue to comply with and carry out health protocols including wearing masks, diligently washing hands, maintaining distance, living a healthy lifestyle, and others.

Furthermore, Freeport also committed to administrating the COVID-19 vaccines, not only for the remaining 2.000 workers who still refuse to receive the first and the second dose of vaccines but also for the 9.000 registered workers to get the booster vaccine doses. "For the booster vaccine, there are around 9,000 workers who have been registered, now there are 6,000 workers who have received booster vaccine injections. We have obtained permission from the Ministry of Health and Bio Farma to use the Sinopharm Vaccine for booster vaccination," explained Jonny.

The vaccination coverage among Freeport and its subcontractors’ workers has reached 91 percent of the total of approximately 28,000 workers. There are still around 2,000 employees who are refused to be vaccinated for various reasons. "There are still around 2,000 who have not been vaccinated. We can't force them to be vaccinated, but we keep asking them continuously because it's been proven that vaccines can make a person has immunity when infected by the COVID-19," he explained.

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