More than 90 employees at a slaughterhouse in north-west Germany have tested positive for coronavirus, the latest example in this sector that Berlin is preparing to regulate more strictly.

This new focus of infection concerns 92 employees of a cutting plant meat in Dissen, in the state of Lower Saxony, was learned on Monday May 18 from local authorities. The production was suspended and the people involved were quarantined, as well as all those who have been in contact with them, they add.

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The tests were carried out after the high infection rates in the meat industry observed throughout Germany.

In early May, 183 people tested positive for the new coronavirus in Coesfeld, in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the west of the country. In April, 300 workers, including 200 Romanian nationals, from a slaughterhouse in the Rhineland-Palatinate region in the west were infected.

Poor working conditions

The poor working conditions in these establishments are pointed out, as well as the massive recourse to foreign subcontracting companies for the hiring of the employees, allowing disempower the sector, according to the German food union NGG.

These slaughterhouses employ many workers from Eastern Europe, living and working in questionable hygienic conditions.

The Minister of Labor, Hubertus Heil, is to present measures to the Council of Ministers on Monday to better regulate working conditions there.

He plans to ban subcontracts, according to the German press.

Beyond Germany, there is growing concern about cases of contamination in slaughterhouses.

In France, more than one hundred people also tested positive Sunday at Covid-19 in two clusters in two slaughterhouses, one near Orleans and the other near Saint-Brieuc.

In the United States, slaughterhouse closings have escalated in recent weeks after numerous cases of contamination. On Wednesday, a fourth controller responsible for enforcing health rules in American slaughterhouses, died after contracting the disease.


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