IndianOil reports first Covid-19 case at Koyali

Vol 23, PW 13 (07 May 20) People & Policy

Already on high alert, IndianOil has begun quarantining staff at its Koyali refinery in Gujarat after reporting its first confirmed case of Coronavirus on April 23.

By May 5, IOC had quarantined up to 31 people at the 13.7m t/y (274,000 b/d) refinery complex. Aged 46, an IOC engineering assistant in one of the process units was admitted to the refinery hospital on April 20, complaining of uneasiness and body ache.

His condition deteriorated after two days, and IOC transferred him to the Sterling Hospital in Vadodara on April 22, where doctors diagnosed Covid-19. "Samples were taken and sent for testing," we hear.

"His reports came back positive." Still recovering, the employee is from the Kankaria Lake area in Ahmedabad, which lends its iconic shape to SBI Bank's logo.

Every day, he travelled 110-km each way to Baroda and back. But over the past month, was stationed within the refinery housing complex because of the lockdown.

How did he contract Coronavirus?  One theory (suggested by the employee) is that he contracted it after giving an "older person" a lift from the SBI office at Bajwa village, location of the refinery, to Genda Circle: a famous traffic island in Vadodara featuring a cast-iron statue of a rhino. No scientific evidence suggests older people are more likely to transmit the virus than any other group, and it is unclear if this is how he contracted Covid-19.