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Canada: RCMP investigates COVID-19 related massive death in Alberta meat plant outbreak
Image Credit: Cargill Meat plant/Image credit: Wikipedia

Canada: RCMP investigates COVID-19 related massive death in Alberta meat plant outbreak

| @indiablooms | 11 Jan 2021, 10:19 pm

Alberta/IBNS: A criminal investigation has been launched by the RCMP in Canada's Alberta into a COVID-19 death due to a massive meat plant outbreak in the province, media reports said. 

It is Canada's first known instance of police investigating a workplace-related COVID-19 death.

The investigation was launched after Ariana Quesada, 16, from Alberta, lodged a formal complaint to the police to investigate potential criminal negligence in the death of her father, Benito Quesada. 

In the largest workplace Covid-19 outbreak in Canada, nearly half of the workforce of 950 staff, including Benito Quesada at the Cargill plant tested positive for COVID-19 by early May.

Benito Quesada, a 51-year-old immigrant from Mexico supporting a wife and four children was hospitalized with COVID-19 in mid-April and died in May.

Slaughterhouses and meat-processing facilities were deemed essential by governments as part of the national food supply chain, and Cargill continued operating even during the pandemic until April 20, when it was shut down for two weeks because of the surging outbreak among its staff.

In an email statement on Saturday, Cargill spokesperson Daniel Sullivan said since the beginning of the pandemic, the plant has been complying with provincial health, occupational health, and safety standards.

"Maintaining a safe workplace has long been one of our core values, and we recognize that the well-being of our plant employees is integral to our business and to the continuity of the food supply chain throughout Canada," the statement read. 

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)

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