5 meat plant workers admitted to ICU with Covid-19 [updated]

Five meat plant workers have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU) in hospitals with Covid-19, it has been confirmed.

These meat plant employees are among a total of 17 meat plant staff that have been hospitalised with the virus over the course of the outbreak in Ireland.

The development was confirmed by Dr. Ronan Glynn, the deputy chief medical officer at the Department of Health, during the daily Covid-19 briefing this evening, Friday, May 22.

Dr. Glynn also confirmed that there have now been 865 cases of Covid-19 diagnosed among meat plant staff – an increase of 37 on the same figure last week – while the number of Covid-19 ‘clusters’ at meat plants remains at 16.

A cluster is defined as a location with two or more confirmed Covid-19 cases in a set period of time.

According to Meat Industry Ireland (MII) some 60% of meat plant staff who have contracted Covid-19 have since recovered and have returned to work.

Also at this evening’s briefing, the chief medical officer Dr. Tony Holohan said that, across the country generally, a further 115 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed today, while there have been 11 further deaths.

Workplace inspections

According to the latest figures from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the number of overall workplace inspections that have been carried out this week stands at 400 – among which meat plants are included.

Despite queries from AgriLand seeking the number of meat plants that have been inspected to date, the HSA was not in a position to clarify this number.

Inspections of all workplaces affected by Covid-19 outbreaks commenced, for the first time, earlier this week.