CP chicken plant closed due to bug outbreak
A chicken processing plant owned by Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc (CPF) in Saraburi's Kaeng Khoi district has been closed for five days to be disinfected, after 391 of its workers were found to be infected with Covid-19.
Despite the outbreak, the Department of Livestock Development said products processed at the factory are not contaminated and as such remain safe for consumption.
In a letter sent to the Interior Ministry, Saraburi governor Manrat Ratanasukhon said 3,400 out of the 5,800 workers at the plant have been tested.
Out of the 765 samples which have been analysed, 391 tests -- for 240 Cambodians and 151 Thais -- came back positive for Covid-19.
Those who tested positive have been admitted to hospital for further treatment, with 49 currently being treated at a 161-bed field hospital in Chet Khot-Pong Kon Sao scouts camp in Kaeng Khoi district.
As a result of the outbreak, CPF has suspended operations at the facility until June 3 for a deep clean.
The company is also building a field hospital on the plant's compound, which will be able to accommodate up to 400 patients.
The governor said those who came into close contact with infected individuals were tested at Saraburi Hospital yesterday, and active case finding is currently underway.
The outbreak came to light after Phetchabun's Covid-19 operations centre reported two workers at the Kaeng Khoi plant had tested positive after returning from work.
Those who travelled in the same van with the pair were immediately quarantined.
CPF said all workers at the Kaeng Khoi plant will be tested for Covid-19 and at-risk groups would be quarantined in compliance with disease control measures.
High-risk workers who are still waiting for their test results are now being quarantined for 14 days at a facility arranged by health officials, while those identified as low-risk by authorities are required to self-isolate for 14 days. The company said production at its 18 other poultry processing facilities was not affected. That said, it has tightened health and safety measures.
Separately, the Department of Livestock Development on Sunday assured consumers that chicken products from the factory are free of the virus and safe for consumption.
Sorravis Thaneto, its director-general, said 2,251 samples of raw products have been collected from processing plants and markets for testing since the pandemic began and none was found to be contaminated.