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NPHET to meet to discuss Covid-19 outbreak in meat factories

Last night it emerged that 828 workers have been diagnosed across the country.

Image: Demian Stringer/PA Images

THE NATIONAL PUBLIC Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will meet to discuss the outbreak of Covid-19 in meat factories today.

Last night it emerged that 828 workers have been diagnosed across the country, with data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) showing 16 outbreaks in meat factories as of last Saturday.

The HSE has established a National Outbreak Control Team and specific guidance has been issued to all effected factories.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said that the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) will inspect meat factories and all other workplaces to ensure that firms are complying with the back-to-work protocol.

“Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with the chairperson of the HSE’s national outbreak control team Dr Mai Mannix,” he told the Dáil yesterday.

“Preliminary estimates from that team indicate that so far between 55% to 60% of employees in meat factories who’ve been diagnosed with Covid-19 have thankfully now recovered and returned to work.

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“(NPHET) will consider the issue of meat factories further at its meeting tomorrow and I will await any advice or recommendations from them and indeed share them with the public and this House.

“Let me be very clear though, if an employee is unwell or has any symptoms of this virus, they must not go to work and they should contact their GP to seek advice on a test.

“If people cannot self isolate, measures must be put in place and can be put in place to ensure that they can isolation, and we are using our facility at the City West in this regard.”

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