COVID-19: 695 persons tested positive at fish-processing factory

BY: Kweku Zurek
COVID-19: 695 persons tested positive at fish-processing factory
COVID-19: 695 persons tested positive at fish-processing factory

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has disclosed that an additional 162 staff of the Tema based fish-processing factory tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) which brought the total number of infections at the facility to 695 confirmed cases.

The Head of Disease Surveillance at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Franklin Asiedu Bekoe said the final figures were arrived at after the coronavirus test results were received for the entire 1,300 staff of the company.

It will be recalled that the GHS had earlier announced that one worker who contracted the disease had infected over 500 workers at the factory.


Dr Bekoe disclosed that 95 percent of the 695 infected persons have recorded a first negative test. They are currently awaiting a second test which is in accordance with Ghana's procedure for declaring persons recovered from the Coronavirus after they have tested negative twice for the illness.

RelatedGhana's COVID-19 recoveries now 1,460 with 28 deaths

Addressing a press briefing Tuesday morning [May 19, 2020] in Accra, he said the factory was immediately closed down for a GHS assessment after the first case was reported.

He said social distancing was absent at various areas of the factory's operations such as the canteen, staff bus and their biometric clock-in devices which he described as "pre-disposing factors" for spreading infections.


On May 12, 2020, the fish processing company, Pioneer Food Cannery confirmed that a member of its staff tested positive for coronavirus following the government’s announcement that over 500 workers in a factory at Tema had been infected after one worker contracted the disease.

The 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.

At the time, the company statement 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.

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More to follow...