The local Aldi and Lidl stores are avoided by the locals due to their proximity to the 2 Sisters poultry processing facilities, which are forced to close after the coronavirus outbreak. Two hundred workers tested positive for Covid-19.
The concerns of those who know the workers in the factory are common. Some told CNN that no one was left at home when they got sick in the first days of the outbreak, because they would only receive legal illnesses worth about 20% of their salaries. 2 The sisters denied that diseased payment policies had to do with the epidemic.
There are so many outbreaks in meat packaging factories around the world that scientists are now examining whether the environment in plants can be part of the problem.
“We can all speculate, but I think there are three things that come out: these people work very, very closely together, cold and humid inside,” said an immunologist and professor at the University Hospital. Thomas Kamradt Jena, Friedrich-Schiller University in Germany.
Cold and wet environment
Some scientists have suggested that the cold and moist environment inside the plants can help spread the virus. “These animal cadavers should always be sprayed with water, so you have aerosols and cold … this is definitely something that deserves a very detailed investigation,” said Kamradt.
Rowland Kao, a professor of veterinary epidemiology and data science at the University of Edinburgh, said that experiments caused lower temperatures to have higher influenza transmission rates and improve the survival of other coronaviruses, such as MERS. “While this has not been proven for Covid-19, similar mechanisms may apply,” said the Science Media Center. Said.
Key workers in nearby neighborhoods
Many experts say that social distances and wearing masks are the most effective ways to avoid spreading the virus. However, it is not always possible to keep a distance in factory settings.
James Wood, a professor of Infectious Diseases, a research center at Cambridge University, said that outbreaks at food processing plants were most likely caused by a combination of factors that could “make them fatal.”
“People should stay close to each other and shout so that they can announce themselves… there are people working close to each other in long shifts, all of which increase the risk of infection,” he said.
Shouting, singing, and speaking out loud are thought to drop more virus-laden droplets into the air. Most importantly, people can spread the virus without knowing it, feeling sick.
Outbreaks in meat factories have affected vulnerable communities, including immigrants. Jobs in food processing plants are badly difficult and are among the lowest wages, making it hard for employers to find local staff.
“They’re not very popular places to work, so you often end up with immigrants or foreign workers living in large communities around the facilities, so you have the potential for ongoing transmission outside the facility and inside the plant itself,” Wood said.
Most of the workers in the industry are usually foreign-born and come from many countries. According to the British Meat Processing Association, over two thirds of 75,000 workers in the UK meat processing sector are migrant workers from elsewhere in Europe. In the USA, immigrants make up about 30% of meat packaging plant workers. In Germany, around a third.
Paddy McNaught, the union Unite regional officer in Wales, said that workers in the industry did not receive patient salary, another factor that can often lead to outbreaks. “So when you are in such a situation, when you are low salary, you have very little spare income, take time and isolate for 14 days when you have risk and temperature,” he said. The sector should ensure that employees have adequate protection to spare time without financial difficulties.
Anna Stewart from Llangefni reported that Ivana Kottasova and Aleesha Khaliq wrote from London and Derby, England. Eoin McSweeney contributed to reporting.