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Coronavirus outbreak forces North Sea platform to shut down for ‘deep clean’

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A North Sea platform has halted production after suffering an outbreak of coronavirus among its crew members.

The first employee tested positive for Covid-19 after displaying symptoms on board Ithaca Energy’s FPF-1 Floating Production Facility – around 150 miles (240km) east of Aberdeen – on Tuesday.

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A further three workers were then found to have been infected with the virus and close contacts of all cases have been told to self-isolate.

In the meantime, a deep clean has been initiated and all remaining staff on board are being tested.

An Ithaca Energy spokesman said: “The safety and wellbeing of our workforce is our top priority.

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“Production on the FPF-1 has been shut in to ensure the safety of all those on board.

“We are moving to minimum manning, conducting a thorough deep clean, and implementing testing of those essential personnel remaining onboard the platform.

“We will not seek to restart production until we are confident that the virus has been eradicated from the platform and we can start up in a safe and controlled manner.”

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Public Health Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have been notified.

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