By Amechi Idumuebor (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Cold air in slaughterhouses and meat-packing factories could be behind coronavirus outbreaks, suggesting winter could bring a second wave of Covid-19.
Scientists say cramped and poorly-ventilated working conditions in the factories — the centre of fresh outbreaks in the UK and Germany — could be to blame because they make social distancing difficult.
But experts also suggest the cold and sunless refrigerated buildings could allow the virus to spread and infect people faster than it would outside.
It comes as Wales’ First Minister today confirmed the nation could implement its first local lockdown following a coronavirus outbreak at the 2 Sisters chicken factory on the island of Anglesey. Nearly 160 staff tested positive for Covid-19, leading to the plant being closed and 560 staff and their families being sent into self-isolation.
Another plant in West Yorkshire, run by Kober, also closed due to an outbreak last week and 38 people caught the virus at a factory in Wrexham, Wales.
More than 1,000 workers at a meat-packing factory in north-western Germany were confirmed to have caught Covid-19 last week, and slaughterhouses and similar meat-processing facilities around the world have suffered major outbreaks of the virus.
It comes amid concerns that the virus could resurge in the winter in Britain, when daylight hours are shorter and the temperature drops outside. Cold and flu viruses are known to thrive in these conditions, and the coronavirus could, too