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Oireachtas Commitee to discuss Covid-19 clusters in meat factories

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Meat factory workers

Meat factory workers

Meat factory workers

The prevalence of clusters of Covid-19 in the meat plant sector will be discussed tomorrow by the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 Response in Leinster House. 

In mid-May, the HSE confirmed that the cumulative number of Covid-19 positives in the meat processing sector over the previous two months had reached 828 cases.

Tomorrow will see two sessions dedicted to issues in the meat plant sector, with Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, Director Edel McGinley and Meat Industry Ireland's Cormac Healy.

Speaking before the meeting, Committee Chairman, Michael McNamara TD said: " We know that a significant number of Covid-19 outbreaks and infections to date, were recorded in meat plants. Members of the Committee want to explore the reasons such a high proportion of Covid-19 clusters occurred in meat plants and the improvements now in place to ensure a safe working environment for workers.

“The Committee welcomes this opportunity to hear the experiences of staff working in this industry and from meat processors on the controls and measures put in place to curb the further spread of the virus in this sector.”

Speaking recently to the Farming Independent recently Cormac Healy of (MII) maintained that the situation regarding Covid-19 had "significantly improved" over the last month.

He said " As of today (June 30) there are no active cases in our meat plants. Our absolute focus is to maintain this position".

"Very substantial Covid measures have been put in place and we can confirm that, of the staff affected, over 96pc have now returned to work and the remainder are completing their isolation and recovery."

"The stringent control and mitigation measures in place, which are also being verified by the HSE, HSA and Department of Agriculture, will be maintained in the weeks and months ahead, with no room for complacency. Vigilance is the priority as general restrictions are lifted."

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