A large outbreak broke out at the largest slaughterhouse in the world, located in Rheda. Authorities have quarantined the processing unit, which has more than 7,000 employees, of which 3,000 are Romanians and Bulgarians.
Epidemiologists have reportedly tested 1,000 employees and more than half have been infected. Company representatives suggest that employees from other countries are to blame for the outbreak, who would have gone home after the restrictions were lifted.
Rheda-Wiedenbrück, in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, has the largest slaughterhouse in the world, not only in Germany.
There are over 7,000 employees, of which almost 3,000 are Romanians and Bulgarians, about 1,500 of each nationality.
At the beginning of the week, 1000 tests were performed in all slaughter, processing and packaging lines and 657 employees have already been confirmed positively.
It is not known how many of them are Roman citizens, but according to some local sources, 3 of our compatriots are already hospitalized with respiratory problems.
The chiefs sent all the staff home, after the local emergency committee placed the giant unit in quarantine for at least 2 weeks.
Emil Hurezeanu, Romania’s ambassador to Germany: “These tests were done and it was decided to close…”
Land authorities have launched an epidemiological investigation, and a possible outbreak is said to be the internal canteen, which operated during this period. In a video you can see that one of the cooks complains that people are crowded and not wearing a mask.
Germany has registered several outbreaks of COVID infection in companies where large groups of Romanians work.
Since last month, at Straubing-Bogen in Bavaria, also at a slaughterhouse, 41 Roman employees were found with covid-19.
Another case was at Dissen, in Lower Saxony, a meat processing unit with 47 other Romanians found positive.
Also in Coesfeld, in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, another slaughterhouse had 80 Roman butchers, and on Wednesday, in Berlin, the authorities quarantined several blocks of flats with 369 apartments that also have Roman residents.
The German authorities have officially announced that around 300,000 people work in slaughterhouses in Germany, of which 70,000 are Romanians.
The same authorities said that the meat processing units in the country are places with an increased risk of spreading the virus, because people work at low temperatures, which favors the spread of the virus.
In the case of the Rheda slaughterhouse, the company’s representatives suggested that employees from other countries, implicitly Romanians and Bulgarians, are to blame for the spread of coronavirus.
Dr. Gereon Schulze Althoff, company representative: “Certainly all the freedom to travel intervened after a 9-week break and caused many of our employees in other countries to finally want to return to their families, which exposed us to new risks.”
Emil Hurezeanu, Romania’s ambassador to Germany: “The German authorities have transmitted that the Romanian workers are not considered in any way responsible for the outbreak of the coronavirus outbreak.”
PRO TV news was filmed in the Romanian community in Rheda three years ago.
In the last 3 months, about 850 Romanians in Germany were diagnosed with COVID-19, and 8 died. As of Thursday, the country had more than 189,000 cases, with 8,900 deaths.