Argentina's YPF to gradually suspend some activities over coronavirus

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine state-run energy firm YPF SA YPFD.BA said on Thursday it will gradually suspend activities not critical to its business, and will scale down staff to a minimum at essential operations to ensure energy supply amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The company, which leads production activities in the Vaca Muerta shale play, said in a statement it will activate preventive protocols to reduce the chances of contagion among employees.

The company “will ensure activities that cannot be interrupted so that they are attended to by least amount [of personnel] possible and will progressively interrupt all those that are not critical so that they remain in a safe condition,” YPF said in the statement.

The government of President Alberto Fernández will hold talks with provincial governors and an advisory committee on Thursday to determine whether it is necessary to increase measures to prevent social contagion in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Argentina has confirmed 97 cases of coronavirus and two deaths, according to government data.

Reporting by Eliana Raszewski in Buenos Aires; Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Matthew Lewis