Naughten raises meat plant Covid-19 cluster concerns with HSE

Denis Naughten has met with senior Heath Service Executive (HSE) management regarding the urgent need for a coordinated national approach to Covid-19 infections in meat processing facilities across the country.

Following a meeting with management today, Wednesday, May 6, the independent TD for Roscommon-Galway said:

“We have seen the impact of the delay in reacting to Covid-19 infections in nursing homes and – unless the HSE acts swiftly – we could have a similar story in meat processing facilities across the country.

We have seen the impact of the failure to take action in the US where meat processing has ground to a halt – but this would have a far bigger impact in Ireland where it could lead to a second generation of Covid-19 infections in communities where there has been a low level of infection to date.

“I’ve asked HSE management to set up a national coordination team to deal specifically with this situation and to ensure that staff, particularly non-Irish staff, are given the proper information in person and in documentation in their native language.

“HSE management accepts that efforts need to be taken to protect this specific industry and acknowledged that it is more difficult to provide for social distancing in such facilities,” deputy Naughten concluded.