Coronavirus: 'Staff walk out at Moy Park over safety concerns'

Coronavirus: 'Staff walk out at Moy Park over safety concerns'

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Unite says 1,000 staff left their stations at the company’s food processing site in Portadown

Staff have walked out of food firm Moy Park over coronavirus safety concerns, a union has said.

Unite says 1,000 staff left their stations at the company’s food processing site in Portadown.

The union said social-distancing measures had not been enforced at the Seagoe site. The BBC has contacted Moy Park for comment.

Meanwhile, a new centre to assess people with suspected coronavirus has opened in Londonderry.

The cases will be assessed by GPs at the out-of-hours Western Urgent Care building at Altnagelvin Hospital.

The most seriously-ill patients will then be transferred to specialist wards.

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Media captionAfter Boris Johnson brings in new measures, the BBC explains why staying in is a matter of life and death

Dr Tom Black from the British Medical Association (BMA) said it was hoped 13 of the centres would be operating within a week.

Officials stress that they are not test centres and are not for walk-ins.

Under fire

Over the last 24 hours, manufacturing workers from a range of companies have contacted the BBC raising concerns over social distancing – keeping more than 2m (6.5ft) apart from others.

In addition to the situation at Moy Park, 80 employees at ABP Food Group have left their stations at the firm’s Lurgan site.

The Department of Communities has also come under fire for not putting in place social-distancing measures for its staff.

The Covid-19 centres such as Altnagelvin allow assessments for coronavirus to be moved away from normal GP practices to help manage the large numbers of people who are expected to get the virus.

They will also allow GP practices to stay open for triage and non-coronavirus consultations and it is hoped it will stop too many GPs and their staff becoming infected at the same time.

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The centre at Altnagelvin Hospital will be the “middle ground” for the moderate to severe cases

Dr Black said GPs would be drafted in from their own practices to treat coronavirus patients with the appropriate care.

“We need to make sure the only ones that get into hospital are the ones that need to go to hospital,” he said.

‘Not a walk-in service’

He told BBC Radio Foyle the centres were not walk-in services and people will not be tested for coronavirus at them.

“You phone your GP as usual, your GP will talk to you to advise you whether to go there or not.

“Some will be advised to stay home and others will be so severe they will be sent to Altnagelvin by ambulance.”

Care home cases

BBC Radio Ulster’s The Nolan Show revealed on Wednesday morning that two people were in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus at Bradley Manor care home in north Belfast.

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The care home, on Belfast’s Crumlin Road, said it had put a number of measures in place

The father of one resident – who has not tested positive for the virus – said he was “very concerned” and wanted reassurances that “everything was being done to protect residents and staff”.

In a statement to The Nolan Show, the home said staff had phoned the nominated contact of every resident to inform them.

It added it was treating the situation “with the utmost seriousness” and had put a number of measures in place, including taking all residents’ temperatures at least twice daily, as well as using “enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures throughout the entire facility”.

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