200 coronavirus cases confirmed at 2 Sisters factory

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Cases at the Welsh factory have hit 200
Cases at the Welsh factory have hit 200

Related tags: coronavirus

The number of coronavirus cases at the 2 Sisters chicken plant in Llangefni, Wales has increased to 200, following a rapid screening exercise.

Public Health Wales has revealed that the screening is continuing into this week. 

Last week, 2 Sisters temporarily closed the site for 14 days following the confirmation of a cluster of Coronavirus cases​.

There was also news last week of a localised outbreak at an Asda meat processing site in Kirklees​, operated by Kober Ltd, as well as the Rowan Foods site in Wrexham, North Wales which has reported positive cases. 

Unite the union has said it had received reports of more suspected coronavirus outbreaks​ at meat processing factories and told Food Manufacture​ that, while the outbreaks were not confirmed, concerns had been raised at more than five sites.

 

 Rapid screening

Public Health Wales has confirmed that more than 450 samples have been taken so far during the rapid screening phase.

However, it added that the increase was as anticipated and did mean that the spread of infection was increasing.

Employees and contractors from the processing plant were being asked to self-isolate for 14 days to help limit the further spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), following confirmation of multiple cases in the workforce.

Dr Graham Brown, consultant in communicable disease control at Public Health Wales, said: “I would like to thank the workforce and wider community for their swift co-operation with this test-and-trace process. This rapid response is providing vital information to help minimise the further spread of COVID-19 locally.

“We have recorded an increase of 25 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus, bringing the total cases in the outbreak to 200.”

 

Welfare

A spokesman for 2 Sisters said the company’s primary focus remained the continuing welfare and safety of all of its staff at this time.

“Since we took the decision to close the site on 18 June, we have been working closely and at pace with Public Health Wales and other agencies to make sure we leave no stone unturned with the testing programme and every single person is accounted for. We understand a proportion of our colleagues appear to be showing no symptoms,” ​he said. 

We would reiterate Public Health Wales’ view that the increase in cases is as anticipated when a focused track-and-trace programme is under way and does not mean that the spread of infection is increasing. We hope the decisive action we have taken will go some way to ensure this outbreak is contained and eradicated.”

The Food Standards Agency has advised that it is very unlikely that people can catch coronavirus from food. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness.

Related topics: Supply Chain, Ambient foods, COVID-19

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