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Aug 25, 2020

DHS Speaks on COVID-19 at Caribbean Chicken Processing Plant

Marvin Manzanero

On the matter of Caribbean Chicken in Blue Creek, Doctor Marvin Manzanero says that the ministry has been in contact with the poultry producer.  The company, he says, has committed to scale up prevention measures and at this time, healthcare workers are still trying to track down workers from that company.  He notes, however, they didn’t request that the business close its operations across country.  As you know by now, Natalio Wicab worked at the processing facility as a supervisor.  But prior to Wicab, there were at least two other workers who had tested positive for the virus. We asked the Director of Health Services if the Caribbean Chicken situation is a concern for the ministry.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“Well, we met with the management on Sunday. We took action yesterday and we know the place was sanitized yesterday and we had asked them to close down not necessarily because of food contamination but rather we wanted to get a sense of how many potential cases you may have there. So, that line listing was developed yesterday and is being worked on today. I know that they went on a closure across the country and that is not we recommended. W we were concerned about the plant in Orange Walk. So, I think they went back to open facilities across the country, except that one. Once we have been able to determine level of contact and potential exposure, then you determine whether the entire plant needs to be closed and if you can open certain areas within the plant. They had notes that they had been doing in terms of prevention measures in the facility and they have made commitments to scale up the prevention measures. They have submitted that to us and BAHA late yesterday. The team is on the ground trying to track down because most of the persons don’t actually live in that community – they go to work there primarily from San Felipe and August Pine Ridge. So, once you get a better picture of what is happening there then you get a better sense of what can potentially happen.”


Andrea Polanco

“Doc, do we know if any other employees have tested positive since Mr. Wicab’s passing?”


Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“No. We do know that now you go back and review the line listing and two other persons, one related to Mr. Wicab prior to him dying, had been diagnosed from the facility. So, now your contact tracing determines if there is any other member. We do know the death of another female of that same family – the sister of Mr. Wicab. She has no other history of SARS-COVID2. A swab was taken after she had passed at Northern Regional Hospital and that will be processed today to determine if that was a contributing factor or what exactly happened to her.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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