BRF facility in Brazil records more than 300 COVID-19 cases

BRF has reported that nearly 340 meat packing workers at a single facility have tested positive for the coronavirus.
calendar icon 26 May 2020
clock icon 3 minute read

On 25 May, BRF issued a statement reporting that 6.6 percent of its 5,132 workers at its Concórdia plant in southern Brazil have tested positive for the virus.

Reuters reports that workers have been preemptively suspended after being diagnosed with rapid testing. The results from the rapid tests will be submitted to slower but more accurate diagnostic testing.

"The news has caused concern about the high number of infections among workers, but we believe the impact on production will be marginal," said Régis Chinchila, an analyst for Terra Investimentos.

There has been worldwide concern that the pandemic would disrupt food supplies.

BRF's costs will rise because of measures to protect workers from the virus, Chinchila added.

The company said it has tested all of the workers at its Concórdia facility, which processes poultry and pork, with 93 percent of workers who tested negative returning to work on 25 May.

All BRF plants in Brazil remain open, a spokeswoman said.

BRF is one of several meat packers that have signed commitments with labour prosecutors aimed at increasing worker protections in a bid to remain in operation.

The testing at Concórdia, however, was imposed by a local health authority order, according to the statement.

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