BY: News Desk |Voltaonelingh.com |
A Tema based food processing company, Pioneer Food Cannery Limited has closed down temporarily following the confirmation of a Corona virus case at the company, Volta Online can report.
The company which produces canned tuna was part of the exempted categories of firms which were allowed to operate during the 3-week partial lock down of the Greater Accra Metropolitan area.
But management in a memo to staff members sighted by Volta Online, shutdown the factory last Saturday, April 18, 2020 for 4-days to enable full sterilization and cleansing of the facility as well the testing of persons who had contact with the infected staff.
The memo dated April 17, 2020 and signed by the Plant Director, Mr. Johnny Ladouce stated that, “As you may be aware, we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Pioneer Food Cannery (PFC) and have taken the decision, in agreement with the Centre for Disease Control Ghana to close the plant for four days starting tomorrow, Saturday 18th April 2020 and re-opening on Wednesday, 22nd April 2020.”
It however assured staff that “this is no cause for alarm and the closing of the factory is to allow us carry out a full sterilization and cleansing of the factory in order to ensure that there is absolutely no further risk to any of you.”
Regarding the affected worker, the memo said, “The person in question had come to work on Thursday 9th April 2020 and had passed all screening and checks before feeling ill during the day. They were then taken to the clinic and on to an isolation room before going home to self-isolate. They have not been working since that Thursday and are recovering well at home.”
The company, according to the memo has since activated the necessary protocols to manage the situation in collaboration with the relevant agencies, including the CDC, whose staff would be on site to test all potential contacts of the affected staff during the closure.
“We will also be carrying out further contact tracing as needed in addition to the full sterilization of the plant. There may be a need for some of you to self-quarantine and we will assist you in understanding the process should it be necessary,” it added.
While assuring the staff of the provision of the needed protective equipment, including nose masks upon resumption of work on Wednesday, the memo also entreated them to adhere to necessary safety and social distancing protocols against the spread of the virus.
“We wish to assure you once again, that you are our most valuable asset. It is of the utmost priority to us to keep you and your families safe and healthy and we are doing everything in our power to achieve this,” the management assured in the memo.
Meanwhile, some workers seem not to be satisfied with the assurances, as they are demanding a 14-day closure of the factory for all staff to undergo compulsory quarantine and testing to ascertain their full status before returning to work.
One of them told Volta Online on condition of anonymity that, “it will be risky for us to resume work just four days after the incident. We have all been exposed in one way or the other to the virus, because we use same bus to work and also use same changing room at the factory. The best thing is for management to shut down the factory for us all to undergo the 14-day quarantine.”
Volta Online will be following developments at the company and keep readers updated.
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