PortandTerminal.com, May 8, 2020
After COVID-19 infections at two slaughterhouses, two German states will test all meat-processing workers.
ESSEN, GERMANY – German media is reporting that a meat-processing plant in western Germany that has experienced an outbreak of novel coronavirus among its workers is being shut down.
The Westfleish plant in Coesfeld, located near the Dutch border, had recorded 129 people infected with the virus by Thursday. Thirteen of those infected have been hospitalized.
German authorities said a similar situation had been found at another meat-packing plant in the state where 150 of 1,250 workers were found to be infected.
The plant is operated by the same company.
The outbreaks led Germany’s most populous state to launch state-wide testing of all meat factory workers.
The testing is to focus on contract workers and will also take in their accommodation, with a view to imposing new conditions should hygiene requirements not be up to standards.
German officials also said the accommodation of workers who are being brought in to help with the harvest in Germany would also be checked following the outbreaks.
Foreign workers, largely from Romania and Bulgaria, were allowed last month to enter Germany by air to assist with the harvest.
Strict restrictions have been imposed, with workers compelled to stay on the farms where they are based.
On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel, in consultation with the state premiers, agreed to begin easing lockdown measures.
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