Fish processing company, Pioneer Food Cannery has confirmed that a member of its staff tested positive for coronavirus following government’s announcement that over 500 workers in a factory at Tema had been infected after one worker contracted the disease.
The Tema-based company in a statement said, as soon as the first case was confirmed, it temporarily closed down the factory for disinfection and cleaning while staff were made to the self-quarantine with contact tracing starting immediately.
“We are able to confirm we have had an employee that tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test results were received on 17th April 2020 and we immediately closed Pioneer Food Cannery (PFC) on a temporary basis for disinfection and cleaning, as well as any necessary self-quarantining of staff and tracing of contacts to identify any potential risks. These efforts were carried out in collaboration with the local health and government authorities,” the company said.
It, however, suggested that it was yet to receive the full results of the tests conducted on its staff, which the government estimated to be about 1,300.
The president, Nana Akufo-Addo in his national address on Sunday, May 10, 2020 said, “It is important to stress that five hundred and thirty-three (533) out of the nine hundred and twenty-one (921) new cases recorded between last Wednesday and Thursday are factory workers from a fish processing factory located in Tema.”
Many Ghanaians received the information with anxiety, especially within the Tema area especially as that is the largest number of confirmed cases within a single organization.
Some even called for the company to be sanctioned over its alleged negligence and failure to put in place adequate precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
But the company in its statement said it already had adequate cleanliness and hygiene measures in place but beefed up those measures after the confirmation of COVID-19 cases in Ghana.
“[The] additional measures as temperature checks at entrances and exits to PFC, provision of alcohol rubs to facilitate hand sanitizing regularly, social distancing, wearing of masks and requiring self-declaration of any symptoms as well as regular monitoring of staff health,” it said.
The company added that it is in constant contact with its employees to monitor their health and urges them the follow all guidelines and precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
“The health and safety of our employees is our highest priority and it is important to us that they are looked after and reassured. At the same time, we are doing everything in our power to ensure continuity of our operations and securing the supply of food to consumers. We will provide further updates in due course,”