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Capitalism

July 16, 2020 - The Guardian

'There's a direct relationship': Brazil meat plants linked to spread of Covid-19

'There's a direct relationship': Brazil meat plants linked to spread of Covid-19
Meat workers, carving up animal carcussesFile Photo / © Photabulous!

Brazilian meat plants helped spread Covid-19 in at least three different places across the country as the virus continues to migrate from big cities to the country’s vast interior, experts have said.

At the beginning of this week the country was second only to the US with 1.88 million confirmed Covid-19 cases and 72,833 deaths . Its powerful agribusiness sector is allied with the country’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has dismissed the pandemic as a “little flu”. The beef sector is worth $26bn (£20.7bn), according to the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA), while its chicken industry is worth another $8bn.

Meat plants have stayed open during the pandemic, and staff work closely together, often in refrigerated areas. Other countries, including the US, Canada, Ireland and Germany, have also seen clusters around slaughterhouses.

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