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Chick-News.com Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Government of Brazil Issues COVID-19 Guidelines for Packing Plants

06/24/2020

The government of Brazil on Friday 19th June belatedly issued a guideline to prevent COVID-19 among workers at packing plants.  Compared with the U.S. and EU guidelines, Brazil has released a relatively watered-down document.  The following recommendations apply to plants in Brazil: -

  • Workers should be separated by a distance of 3 feet.  This is half the CDC recommendation.
  • If the 3-foot distance cannot be implemented workers must wear surgical masks and impermeable partitions must be installed between adjacent workers.
  • Employees demonstrating symptoms of coronavirus must be quarantined for 14 days.  Contacts of confirmed cases must be tracked and quarantined.

 

The guidelines do not specify the need for testing.  The requirement that only symptomatic workers be quarantined is irrational since more than 80 percent of workers that test positive are asymptomatic and presumed to be spreaders of infection.

Brazil was late in recognizing the severity and rapidity of spread of COVID-19 and the Nation has recorded over a million confirmed cases with 50,000 fatalities.  Initially, infections appeared in the high-density slum areas surrounding the major cities but more recently outbreaks have occurred in rural areas with large packing plants.  In the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul with a high concentration of meat plants, 24 percent of confirmed cases were diagnosed in workers in packing plants.

 

There has been considerable conflict between state and local authorities regarding whether plants could continue in operation with an ascending incidence rate of COVID-19.  A number of major packers including JBS SA have opposed court-ordered closures demanded by regional prosecutors.  Following concessions to introduce preventive measures, plants reopened only to record a resurgence of cases.


 
Copyright © 2020 Simon M. Shane