Salmon city Puerto Montt tops COVID-19 contagions in Los Lagos region

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Lockdown begins this Wednesday at 10 pm.

On Tuesday, SalmonBusiness reported that the salmon processing rich area of Puerto Montt, southern Chile, was going into quarantine.

On Wednesday at 10 O’clock, authorities will clamp down on travel and will control movement in the region. BioBio added that with 73 new contagions Puerto Montt continues to top the list of cities with the most positive coronavirus cases in the Los Lagos region.

There are many salmon processors in Puerto Montt, including MultiExport, Cermaq Chile, Salmones Aysen and more.

SalmonBusiness asked Chile’s main trade industry body SalmonChile, which represents Cermaq Chile, Blumar, Cooke Aquaculture Chile and more, what the situation is for processors in the city.

Is production still ongoing or have they been reduced? Are the workers confined?

A SalmonChile spokesperson responded with the following: “Since the beginning of this crisis, the salmon industry took all necessary measures to ensure social distance in plants, buses and common spaces. In addition, enabling health controls since workers leave their homes and generating groups that work, lunch and move together, allowing us to have traceability in the face of any contagion.

“Initially, all these measures meant a reduction of up to 50% in production, but it was the right thing to do to safeguard the well-being of our employees. We have also been able to prevent significant outbreaks in our operation.

“Today the industry is considered an essential activity, so we can adapt the work in facilties and salmon farms to the new sanitary measures of Puerto Montt,” they added.

El Consejo del Salmon de Chile (The Chile Salmon Council) newly formed of some of the country’s biggest hitters, AquaChile, Cermaq Chile, Mowi and Salmones Aysén, has not yet responded to SalmonBusiness’ request for comment

In Chile, a total of 9,187 coronavirus-infected people have died, according to the University of Johns Hopkins.