Danish coronavirus infections up as meat plant confirms cases

Danish coronavirus infections up as meat plant confirms cases
The Danish Crown plant in Ringsted. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
Danish Crown has confirmed that several employees at its meat processing plant in Ringsted have tested positive for the new coronavirus. 57 cases were registered nationwide on Wednesday.

The company said on Tuesday that three members of staff at its processing facility had tested positive. The figure has since increased to 16.

Danish Crown has therefore contacted health authorities and a mobile Covid-19 testing centre has been set up at the plant.

“We are in a serious situation in which our focus is fully on breaking the infection chain,” Danish Crown vice president for production Per Laursen said in a press statement.

“That’s why we are very pleased that the authorities are now stepping in and setting up a mobile test centre at the plant,” Laursen added.

The plan for testing, including which employees would be asked to participate, would be decided by authorities in order to maximise efficacy, he added.

On Tuesday, the company closed a section with 80 workers at the plant after three cases of Covid-19 were detected between Sunday and Tuesday. The 80 people in question have been sent home and are being treated as close contacts, which means they must test negative for the virus twice before returning to work.

 

Laursen previously stressed that Covid-19 cannot be spread via food.

“We are reacting as firmly as we are because back in March, we made a clear plan for what we would do when an employee is confirmed infected with Covid-19, he said on Tuesday.

The facility, which normally slaughters around 35,000 pigs every week, is currently operating at half-capacity. The company’s other plants kept production at normal levels, however.

57 new cases of coronavirus were registered by authorities in Denmark on Wednesday, a notably higher number than Tuesday’s figure of 30, which was called “reassuring” by one health expert.

READ ALSO: Are coronavirus cases increasing in Denmark?

Average daily new infections in Denmark have crept up throughout July. The week commencing July 5th saw an average of 18 new cases per day. That had increased to 41 by last week.

The latest daily total from national infectious disease institute SSI shows a decrease of 1 in the number of hospitalised patients. That total now stands at 21.

Of the hospitalised patients, three are in ICU care and all are receiving ventilator treatment.


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