Covid-19 outbreaks at French abattoirs

France
Published:  20 May, 2020

About 100 workers from the French cattle slaughter sector are said to have been confirmed positive with Covid-19.

A cluster of 34 cases among 400 workers were declared at an abattoir located in France’s central Val de Loire region, according to health officials, and another 63 workers out of a 209 workforce were also tested positive to the virus at a slaughterhouse situated in the region of Brittany. Despite the protection measures in place, some workers have allegedly claimed that the social distancing rules have been difficult to follow.

In Germany, more than 90 cases were recently discovered in a Saxony slaughterhouse, the latest in a series of flare ups since April. Apart from the U.S., other notable slaughterhouse hotspots have emerged in Australia, Spain and Brazil. "The high number of outbreaks in meat processing plants around the world deserves investigation", Raina MacIntyre, Head of the Public Health School at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, told global news agency AFP. "Bringing large numbers of people together from across a community, having them working on long shifts with plenty of opportunities for transmission, is likely to result in heightened risk", said Archie Clements, an epidemiology Professor at Curtin University, Australia.

However, overcrowding alone doesn't explain why meat factory workers are more likely to contract the virus; physical requirements of the work could also have an impact on factory workers, it is claimed, along with the cold and humid conditions necessary for meatpacking.

Sources: France 24/Medical Xpress