Meat plants 'need to be kept open' despite 40% of of Covid close contacts not being contacted

Everything must be done to ensure meat processing plants remain open, according to a farming organisation.
Meat plants 'need to be kept open' despite 40% of of Covid close contacts not being contacted
President of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association, Edmond Phelan, says keeping meat plants open needs to be a priority.

Everything must be done to ensure meat processing plants remain open, according to a farming organisation.

Yesterday, Independent TD Denis Naughten told the Dáil that up to 40% of cases' close contacts have not been tested or communicated with, which has led to concerns among the spread of Covid-19 in communities.

Health Minister Simon Harris has said there have been some communication issues.

There has been a further 123 cases of Covid-19 within the facilities in the past week, bringing the total to 1,048.

It means there could be between 300 and 400 people who have been in close contact with infected people have not been contacted.

President of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association, Edmond Phelan, says keeping the centres open needs to be a priority.

Mr Phelan said: "Number one, the workers' health is paramount in all things but after that, it is very important that meat factories are kept open.

"No stone should be left unturned by the Government do that."

"To the best of my knowledge now the workers are being checked going in, and I think screens are being put between workers to protect them from each other so I think after a slow start things are being handled a lot better now."

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