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60pc of meat factory workers who tested positive for Covid-19 back in work - MII

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There has been a number of clusters of Covid-19 cases in meat plants.

There has been a number of clusters of Covid-19 cases in meat plants.

There has been a number of clusters of Covid-19 cases in meat plants.

Some 60pc of meat factory workers who tested positive for Covid-19 in recent weeks have now returned to work, according to Meat Industry Ireland (MII).

MII, which represents the meat processros, said that a "significant amount" of the country's meat processing plants have had few or no cases.

Cormac Healy, speaking on RTE radio this morning, said MII members have been since the middle of March been implementing safety protocols and protective measures, but that nothing can elimiate the risk of Covid-19.

Meat factories saw an increase of 328 cases over hte past week of meat factory workers, which was according to MII a a culmunation of results.

"There is a very significant suite of measures are in place in meat factories. While we had a number of clusters, there are a lot of plants with no cases of very low numbers," Cormac Healy said.

Healy also said "there is a very significant number of plants with zero cases and also with very low numbers and in several of those facilties there was a full screening test of all the workforce.

However, he could not state how many had no cases or very low number of cases. Of the 56 meat processing plants under Department of Agriculture supervision, 16 have had clusters of Covid-19 cases among workers.

On Tuesday evening the HSE announced that the cumulative number of Covid-19 positives in the meat processing sector over the last two months has reached 828 cases.

Figures compiled by MII show that to date, 496 workers, who tested positive, have gone through the appropriate self-isolation, recovered and are back at work.

It said it is disappointing that despite the range of measures put in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, the number of cases reported by the HSE has continued to rise.

Cormac Healy, Senior Director of Meat Industry Ireland said: “MII members do not underestimate the challenge Covid-19 poses and acted quickly and comprehensively to address the situation over two months ago.

“This is cause for encouragement but not complacency and our aim is to take all the appropriate measures we can to minimise the chances of more cases developing. We welcome the HSE guidance note which will assist MII members as they continue to manage the ongoing situation.”

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