Health

Germany Reports Over 600 New Cases of Coronavirus in Slaughterhouse Workers

The coronavirus pandemic now has over seven million cases around the globe with a rising death toll. Regardless of the preventive measures and lockdowns took by nearly all of the countries impacted by the virus, there are more and more new cases of coronavirus reported every day, including in the areas which had reduced coronavirus transmission to an extent previously.

Recently, official reports from Germany have confirmed that over six hundred new cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in slaughterhouse workers. All of the workers have jobs in a single meatpacking plant located on the west side of the country.

This event is the biggest spike the country has faced since easing lockdown restrictions. Prior to the six hundred additional cases, Germany had new cases but they were controlled and low in number in comparison with other countries.

According to the health authorities located in Guetersloh, around nine hundred and eighty-three people who worked at the Toennies slaughterhouse in the Rheda-Wiedenbrueck were tested for coronavirus. Out of all the workers tested, three hundred and twenty-six did not contract the virus. The rest of the test results were positive.

After a large number of workers tested positive, all six thousand and four hundred people who worked in different parts of the plant went into self-isolation and quarantine. The plant closed only a few hours in the afternoon after being informed of the test results.

Till now, Germany has had a total of 188,474 cases of coronavirus infection along with a death toll of 8,844. After imposing a nationwide lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic in March, the country had successfully reduced coronavirus transmission significantly.

However, as soon as the restrictions were eased in June, the average daily increase has been three hundred to four hundred. The recently reported event is so far the biggest spike.

The news of the spike was reported during the meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and governors of sixteen states of Germany for the discussion of further preventive measures that should be taken to new cases of coronavirus and the overall progress over the pandemic.

Even though more than six hundred cases in a day is worrisome, Merkel stated that the country can continue with the relaxed restrictions while controlling local spikes. She further explained:

‘We are far away from an exponential increase. That´s why I very much welcome that, as today in the county of Guetersloh for example, when there is such an accumulation of infections then measures are immediately taken, for example, the closure of schools and such-like.’

Read also: Three US States with Highest Coronavirus Cases Might Need to Impose Another Lockdown 

On the other hand, officials from the Toennies slaughterhouse have stated that the workers may have contracted the virus during their visit to Eastern Europe in order to see their relatives after the lockdown and travel restrictions were lifted.

Right after the workers developed symptoms, the plant was closed, all workers were tested and advised to quarantine. Currently, nearly seven thousand people associated with Toennies slaughterhouse are in self-isolation.

In order to control the situation, the local authorities have imposed a short lockdown period until the end of the month. Prior to the outbreak and Toennies slaughterhouse, new cases of coronavirus have been reported in various other slaughterhouses which have prompted local governing bodies to impose even stricter restrictions.

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Abeera I. Kazmi

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