COVID-19 local transmission reported in Surigao mining firm

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island— The local transmission of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been reported at the Taganito High Pressure Acid Leaching (THPAL) Nickel Corporation in Barangay Taganito in the town of Claver in Surigao del Norte after eight workers tested positive for the coronavirus.

As of July 7, a total of 12 confirmed COVID-19 cases has been reported in Claver town, eight of whom were from THPAL. 

Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation Chairman and President Masahiro Kamiya, in separate letters to Mayor Gokiangkee and Provincial Governor Francisco Matugas posted on their official Facebook page Tuesday night, said the eight COVID-19 positive workers came from the campsite of one of their contractors. 

“We have undertaken strict quarantine since June 6 and are awaiting for quarantine clearance.  The other workers were cleared and are fit to return to work. We believe that the situation is almost resolved as we have followed the proper protocols, and in full cooperation with local health authorities,” Kamiya said. 

In his letter to Gokiangkee, dated July 7, Kamiya said they will strictly comply and cooperate with the imposition of enhanced community quarantine at THPAL Nickel Corporation plant. It will be implemented July 8 to July 21.

“Rest assured that THPAL is committed to safeguarding the economic and physical health of Claver and of the province of Surigao del Norte in partnership with all duly constituted authorities,” Kamiya added.  

Based on the data of DOH-Caraga, Surigao del Norte province has the most number of COVID-19 cases in the Caraga region with 58 confirmed positive cases, including eight confirmed cases in Surigao City as of July, 7.