29 March 2020
BHP has launched a plan focused on helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Chile. The business and the Medical Faculty of Universidad Católica, have combined efforts with the immediate objective of raising the testing capacity and strengthening the Familiar Health Centers of the South East Area of the Metropolitan Region, as well as Antofagasta and Tarapacá.
This plan includes:
- An Early Detection Program through rapid testing, in support of Primary Attention Centers (this includes 150.000 rapid test for detecting the virus). This system includes 10 units for sampling, with mobile tents and permanent units.
- Expansion of laboratory capacity, including the purchasing of new analysis equipment to maximize the speed for processing tests. Results will be delivered to patients in 24 hours.
- Community surveillance for cases that test positive and their contacts, based at Primary Attention Centers and telemedicine.
- A 24/7 call center for identifying potential cases.
Daniel Malchuk, President Operations at Minerals Americas, said that “this plan shows our commitment and our profound belief that we should work together to face the difficult times we are going through”.
In addition, BHP will implement a program to support communities and high-risk, vulnerable groups in the regions where the company operates, Antofagasta and Tarapacá. This will allow the delivery of supplies, sanitization of public areas, areas for the isolation of potential cases and support to the state network to increase medical rounds, supplies and treatment for high-risk people.