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Seafood Producer Thai Union Says Operating Normally After 69 COVID-19 Cases

By Maev Martin
Seafood Producer Thai Union Says Operating Normally After 69 COVID-19 Cases

The world’s top canned tuna maker, Thai Union Group Pcl, said on Wednesday its factories were continuing to operate normally after 69 out of more than 23,000 workers at its plants southwest of Bangkok tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement, the company said it had tested 85% of employees, or 23,630 workers, in Samut Sakhon province, where a cluster of cases emerged at a shrimp market late last year.

The company, which owns the Chicken of the Sea and John West, brands, said factories would operate but with fewer in-person meetings, deep cleaning and following government health guidelines.

"Due to the extremely small number of impacted employees, all Thai Union’s factories currently remain open and operational at capacity," chief executive Thiraphong Chansiri said.

Infected staff showing symptoms would be treated under government protocols, while those without symptoms would quarantine at home or at designated locations, Thai Union said.


Coronavirus Cluster

For months last year, Thailand successfully contained coronavirus infections but a cluster emerged in December at a shrimp market, prompting authorities to test tens of thousands in Samut Sakhon, the centre of Thailand's seafood industry and home to thousands of migrant workers.

Authorities reported 2,575 migrant workers linked to the cluster had been infected.

"Each and every one of our employees in Samut Sakhon will receive a COVID-19 test," Thiraphong said. The company did not disclose how many of its employees were migrant workers.

Thai Union has not yet shut any plants in the province, saying a two-week shutdown could impact about 2% of total revenue, but has not ruled out closures if the situation worsens.

News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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