Germany registers many new virus cases at a slaughterhouse

Regional officials in western Germany have registered a sharp rise of Covid-19 cases at a large meatpacking plant, but calmed the outbreak is under control, news wires reported. So far the confirmed cases were 657 of a total of 983 tests.  Company officials said the outbreak have been linked to workers visiting their families in eastern European countries as border controls were relaxed.

Regional officials ordered the closure of the slaughterhouse, as well as isolation and tests for everyone else who had worked at the Toennies site in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, putting about 7,000 people under quarantine. Schools and child care centres across the county were also closed as of from Thursday until the summer vacation starts by the end of the month, but a wider-ranging lockdown was not imposed.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised regional officials for swift measures. “We are far away from an exponential increase,” Merkel told reporters, insisting that the country would continue to try to relax restrictions despite the slaughterhouse outbreak.

The outbreak in one of Germany's biggest slaughterhouses, could cut the available supply of meat in the country. Sven-Georg Adenauer, head of the regional administration, said a fifth of Germany's meat products could be unavailable while the plant is shut, the dpa news agency reported.

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