Litera Meat, 1st May 2020
1. PRELIMINARY INFORMATION
Amidst the current international sanitary crisis we are facing, we believe that the most adequate thing to do is to act with caution and good sense. This is why we have waited until having received reliable information to release an official and transparent report based on rigorous and accurate data concerning Litera Meat.
In the first place, we believe it is necessary to explain what quick serologic testing is used for and how the results of these tests must be interpreted. Serology-based tests, the ones the Public Health authorities have done at the Enterprise, are blood-based tests that can be used to identify whether a person has been exposed to a particular pathogen by looking at their immune response. When they prove positive, it means antibodies for a certain pathogen have been detected, but they do not indicate the presence of the virus itself. What does this mean? That the results of this type of tests determine whether the employee or worker has produced antibodies or, in other words, whether they have developed defences against the virus. It is apparent that, in order to develop antibodies or defences within their body, a person must have previously been in contact with the virus, but this does not necessarily mean that they are currently infected and can transmit the virus, nor that they have developed the related disease in its most acute form, but rather that they might have (had) a mild set of symptoms related to the disease or they might even be asymptomatic, as we have been able to confirm following the tests carried out.
Based on this, it is not appropriate to frighten the population by talking about positive cases without previously having explained in detail that a positive result in a serologic test does not necessarily mean that a person is currently infected and/or is capable of transmitting the virus directly. To know for sure whether or not a person is a carrier of the virus, it is necessary to carry out a second test called PCR. If the PCR test proves negative, it means that the person has recovered from the disease and is no longer an infectious agent, so they do not represent a hazard to other people. If, on the other hand, the result proves positive, it means that the person is still infected and could inadvertently be an infection vector within their environment.
2. TESTS CARRIED OUT
To date, 1st May 2020, 931 quick serology-based tests have been carried out at Litera Meat, resulting in 22% of positive cases, i.e. carriers of antibodies to the virus (defences). Since 25th April, the occupational risk prevention services Más Prevención have been collaborating with Litera Meat to perform the aforementioned PCR tests to the employees who proved positive in the serologic tests (most of which are asymptomatic or have quite mild symptoms) in order to have an accurate diagnosis of the current situation. We have received the test results of 105 employees and only 11 are confirmed to be positive for COVID-19. If this trend remains unchanged, after receiving the last results to be given soon, we might have approximately 20 positive cases out of 931 employees subjected to testing. All updates on the remaining results will be communicated by the General Management of Litera Meat daily. Based on the results obtained, the management team of Litera Meat would like to leave a question standing: Are the results obtained in the recent tests very different from the data on the global situation regarding COVID-19?
Litera Meat will continue to carry out serology-based and/or PCR tests to have an actual diagnosis of the state of its employees regarding coronavirus and keep the situation under control at every moment.
3. BIOSECURITY MEASURES
Litera Meat’s management team works daily to maintain and improve its contingency plan amidst the current sanitary crisis, collaborating with and showing complete transparency to the Public Health Department of the Government of Aragón and all other public entities involved. Within the framework of Litera Meat’s contingency plan, the following measures have been added up to the already implemented security and protection measures:
- Disinfection by nebulization in all the facilities and outbuildings using a broad-spectrum virucidal agent. This was carried out during the week of Easter, specifically on 10th and 11th April, and it will be repeated periodically in the most sensitive places.
- Put into operation 15 additional buses to ease transport and avoid any potential crowds.
- Increase the number of internal security personnel by 50% to rightly control access points and ensure compliance with the security distance by employees.
- In collaboration with Más Prevención, a physician and a nurse have been incorporated to Litera Meat’s medical centre to remain at our personnel’s disposal, both to assist employees who might experience any symptoms and to carry out diagnostic tests.
- Aside from protection surgical masks and gloves (approximately 3,500 units are given away daily), FFP2 face masks have been purchased to be put at the disposal of those employees who might have a higher risk of infection due to a greater exposition to hazardous situations.
- Likewise, more face shields and security glasses have been purchased for personnel who might require them.
- All these investments in complementary diagnostic tests and the aforementioned operations and material to guarantee greater security and protection of employees have been made by the Company.
4. LITERA MEAT DENIES ANY DISMISSALS DUE TO COVID-19 INFECTIONS
By means of this official communication, Litera Meat denies any declarations alleging unfair dismissals for causes linked to COVID-19. The reasons why certain former workers are no longer part of Litera Meat’s personnel stem from voluntary departures or termination of contract for causes uniquely and exclusively related to work issues.
5. FAR FROM MEDIA CONFRONTATION
By means of this communication, we would like to show our way of acting, which is quite far away from confrontation with the media and the groundless speculations which have been published lately. In a crisis situation like the one we are facing, we believe good sense, caution, collaboration and understanding must prevail. We have opted to stay out of any type of confrontation or speculations, continuing to do our job and trying at all moments to take the necessary and optimal measures for the benefit of all Litera Meat’s team. This is what we have always done, what we do today and what we will continue doing. Recovery of the social setting around us is first priority. This is why we keep on trying to get through an encouraging and supportive message for everybody.
Litera Meat also wants to show its gratitude and acknowledgement to all the sanitary personnel involved for their professionality and invaluable job, to the security forces for watching over security and keeping the order in complex situations, to the institutions and entities who helped us to carry this out for their collaboration and advice during this critical situation and to all the employees of Litera Meat for remaining committed and maintaining their integrity in such an uncertain scenario, with a special mention to the General Directorate of Public Health, the Provincial Directorate of Public Health, the Nursing Department of the primary care area of the Barbastro Hospital, the nursing area of different public health sectors, the Social Services Area of La Litera region, the technical personnel and the management team of the trade union UGT, the technical personnel of Más Prevención, the technical personnel and the management team of Seap Polyclinics, Synlab Laboratory, Echevarne Laboratory, the City Council of Binéfar, the Gendarmerie (Guardia Civil), the local Police and the security personnel of INV.