At least 31 employees of India’s state-controlled Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) working at a key offshore facility off the country’s west coast have tested positive for Covid-19.

Local media reports say that 31 of the 91 employees working on an ONGC offshore facility in the Mumbai High are recently tested positive for coronavirus at a Mumbai hospital.

The employees had spent more than two weeks at the offshore facility.

"These 31 employees had spent 15 days at the facility. They were found positive in the Covid-19 test conducted at a hospital in Mahim," Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner with Mumbai’s G-North ward, was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.

ONGC has several offshore installations in the Mumbai High area, but the exact offshore facility associated where the workers have come from could not be confirmed by Upstream.

In June, ONGC halted work on two offshore rigs operating off the country’s west coast following positive Covid-19 cases on board, including one death.

As many as 54 offshore employees in ONGC had tested positive for coronavirus and one had died, Upstream had reported.

The two rigs were working on ONGC’s west coast operations involving its Mumbai High and Bassein fields.

Special Covid-19 measures

After those positive Covid-19 cases, ONGC said that it had further strengthened its testing procedures on board drilling vessels and other installations and was screening employees before they board a helicopter to work at an offshore field.

ONGC said it issued standard operating procedures in April to contain the spread of Covid-19 at all offshore and onshore installations and other work places, including office and residential complexes.

In addition, it carried out crew change at installations, operating special chartered flights from Air India in May.