Alarm as another German abattoir hit by coronavirus outbreak

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Germany has uncovered another cluster of coronavirus infections at a slaughterhouse, fuelling alarm about working conditions in the country’s meat packing plants.

A total of 92 employees at the Westfleisch abattoir in Lower Saxony state have tested positive, local authorities in Osnabrueck district announced late Sunday.

The plant has been closed until further notice and staff have been placed in quarantine, joining a slew of other German slaughterhouses hit by outbreaks.

Many of the cases have been among workers from eastern Europe, mainly from Romania and Bulgaria, who often live in shared accommodation.

Germany has grown increasingly concerned about the meat industry as a hotbed of new coronavirus infections, just as the nation emerges from lockdown and attempts to restart its battered economy.

Similar clusters have occurred at abattoirs in France and the United States as well.

A large outbreak at a slaughterhouse in the district of Coesfeld in western Germany earlier this month prompted authorities to order mass testing at meat processing sites across the country.

More than 260 cases have now been confirmed at the Coesfeld plant.

 

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