Health and safety of employees is the unconditional priority of the company. Beginning March 17, special measures were introduced at all Metinvest enterprises to combat the spreading of the virus. All public events and business trips were cancelled. All working premises and vehicles bringing workers to the sites and taking them back home are regularly disinfected. The canteens are transformed into "take away" places, where the workers can get packed food and bottled water.
Metinvest is doing its best to provide employees with personal protective equipment necessary during this crisis period, despite the shortage in the market. Over 160 thousand safety masks and respirators and over one million gloves have been purchased for the workers of Ukrainian enterprises of the Group. All employees are provided with hand sanitizers. The stock of the means of protection is continuously replenished. We look for every opportunity to buy them, and as soon as we find them, they are immediately delivered to the enterprises.
Metinvest is ready to help save the patients suspected of having COVID-19, virus pneumonia and other lung diseases supplying hospitals with oxygen so much needed during the epidemic. The manufacturing sites of Ilyich Iron and Steel Works of Mariupol and Azovstal Iron and Steel Works supply oxygen to the hospitals in Mariupol and the region, perinatal centre, cancer hospital and all medical institutions that may send such requests to these enterprises.
The Group is involved in the activities of regional crisis response centres focused on combating the coronavirus. Recreation and healthcare facilities of the company are put to stand-by mode and are ready to receive patients at any time. This week Metinvest expects the delivery of 20 thousand COVID-19 express tests, which will be distributed among the hospitals and clinics of Kyiv, Mariupol, Zaporizhia and Kryvyi Rih. Metinvest allocates the funds to purchase personal protective and special equipment for police workers, laboratories and ambulances, whose employees carefully watch the adherence to the quarantine measures and are exposed to risk on a daily basis.
Despite the difficult situation, Metinvest Group continues to pay full salaries to all employees. The administrative staff of the management company and about 95% of administrative personnel of enterprises are working remotely now. Workers at risk are on paid leaves or work remotely. Amid economic uncertainty, Metinvest enterprises decided not to have a tax break for now to secure the stability of local and national budgets along with the efficiency of actions taken to combat COVID-19.
To remind, the shareholder of Metinvest Group Rinat Akhmetov has pulled together the efforts of all SCM businesses, the Charity Fund and SC Shakhtar to help Ukraine fight the coronavirus. Before that, it was Rinat Akhmetov's personal initiative to allocate UAH 300 million to assist the country in fighting the coronavirus. Rinat Akhmetov's Fund purchases 300 thousand express tests for the stabilization fund initiated by the President of Ukraine, and minimum 200 artificial lung ventilation machines for state hospitals.