Covid-19 cases continue to be reported in meat processing plants

There have been calls to shut down plants were cases are discovered.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan reported 16 clusters of Covid-19 reported in meat processing plants and that the number of cases associated with the industry is now up to 828 cases.

Last week there were more than 500 cases of coronavirus in meat processing plants.

He said: "In relation to clusters as of midnight on Saturday across workplace settings we have 35 in total, an increase of three since last week.

"In respect of meat processing plants that number is 16 an increase of four clusters since last week involving now a total of 828 cases which is an increase of 328 from the number of 500 [...] last week."

In response, Meat Industry Ireland says 60% of meat plant workers who contracted Covid-19 are now back at work after recovering from the illness.

The lobby group says many sites operated by its members have not had any cases -- and others have had had "very few positive cases".

It says the meat industry is an essential service and remains focussed on containing the Covid-19 operation while continuing to operate.

It follows a call by the Migrant Rights Centre for a two-week shutdown at any plant where a cluster of infection is discovered.

The HSE announced today a further 16 people have died from Covid-19 and 51 more cases have been confirmed.

It brings the death toll to 1,561, while are there are now 24,251 total confirmed cases.