Rise in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in meat factories

Photo: Pete Linforth, Pixabay.

There have been more cases of the coronavirus confirmed in meat factories in Ireland.

An update has been given this evening by Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan.

It comes as a further 16 people have died from Covid-19 and 51 more cases have been confirmed.

It brings the death toll to 1,561, while are there are now 24,251 total confirmed cases.

In Tipperary, just one more case has been diagnosed bringing the county’s total to 525.

Last week it was reported that there had been more than 500 cases of coronavirus in meat processing plants, including in Rosderra meats in Roscrea.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan says that figure has increased in the past seven days:

“In relation to clusters, as of midnight on Saturday, across workplace settings we have 35 [clusters] in total – an increase of three since last week.

“And in respect of meat processing plants, that number is 16 – an increase of four clusters since last week, involving now a total of 828 cases, which is an increase of 328 on the number of 500 we gave you last week.”

Meanwhile, Meat Industry Ireland says 60% of meat plant workers who contracted covid-19 are now back at work after recovering from the illness.

The lobby group says many sites operated by its members haven’t had any cases – and others have had had “very few positive cases”.

It says the meat industry is an essential service, and remains focused on containing covid-19, while continuing to operate.

It follows a call by the Migrant Rights Centre for a two-week shutdown at any plant where a cluster of infection is discovered.