Severstal Employee Suspected of Having Coronavirus, Company Says

Russian steel company Severstal said on Friday one of its employees was suspected of having coronavirus after travelling from Moscow to the city of Cherepovets on a business trip with his wife.

Severstal said the employee and those he came into contact with had been isolated and that he did not have any direct contact with production staff.

“A preliminary diagnosis was determined for our employee in Cherepovets according to the results of a coronavirus test. We received information about this the morning of March 27. The ill employee is isolated, he receives the necessary medical care,” the company’s press service said.

Meanwhile, it was reported that some of Russia’s biggest steel producers have suspended alcohol tests for employees because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Many Russian heavy industrial plants have installed breathalyser devices at workplaces in recent years as a health and safety measure to check whether workers have been drinking.

But with the possibility that the virus could be spread via surfaces touched by many people, some firms have suspended use of the devices – often small frames on which a worker breathes and receives a pass or fail in seconds.

Severstal, a major steel producer, said it had suspended all of its devices, replacing them with “alternative procedures with a lower risk of spreading infection”.

It said these alternative procedures would involve random staff checks. NLMK, Russia’s biggest steel producer, has taken similar steps.

“Factory workers and subcontractor employees are no longer required to pass breathalyser tests, though security guards will be controlling the situation visually,” NLMK said in a statement.

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