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Relationship found between Covid-19 cases and work in refrigerators

Study coordinated by an IFSP professor is part of a CNPq project; data are from the southern region of Brazil

  • Published: Friday, 29 May 2020, 18:50 AM
  • Last updated on Tuesday 02 June 2020, 10:44

Researchers Fernando Mendonça Heck, professor at the IFSP at Câmpus Tupã, and Lindberg Nascimento Júnior, from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), produced a cartography relating the cases of Covid-19 with the municipalities that most concentrate slaughterhouses in the south of the country. The results found demonstrate that, in the interior of the states of this region, the marked presence of the economic activity of poultry and swine slaughter indicates similarity when related to the cases of Covid-19.

The study is part of a project financed by CNPq, entitled “Health cartography of workers in slaughterhouses in Brazil”, coordinated by Professor Fernando Heck, and is also among the actions of the “Corona-GIS” project, at UFSC, of ​​which Professor Lindberg Júnior is part. The confirmed cases of Covid-19 were analyzed in all municipalities in the southern region, until May 20, and the number of jobs (jobs) and establishments associated with poultry and swine slaughterhouses, obtained via the Annual List of Social Information ( RAIS).

Covid-19 - Bird Refrigerators

One of the motivations for carrying out the research, according to Fernando, was the growth in the number of cases of the new coronavirus in cities in the interior of the southern region of the country. Some of these municipalities have a strong concentration of poultry and swine slaughterhouses, which led to the prohibition of some factories, due to the disease, in cities such as Passo Fundo (RS), Lajeado (RS) and Ipumirim (SC). According to the IFSP professor, the city of Chapecó, in the West of Santa Catarina, has become the location with the highest number of cases infected by the virus, at the same time as it is the municipality of Brazil that employs the most in the slaughter sector. poultry and swine.

Fernando Heck affirms that the slaughterhouse sector already registers a worrying number of cases of injuries to workers' health, directly related to the production process, such as Injuries By Repetitive Efforts. With Covid-19, the situation of workers in that area has become even more complicated. “Although (refrigerators) are considered essential activities, the production process brings together workers in closed environments, with a low rate of air renewal and without the minimum distance necessary to avoid contagion. Such conditions favor the proliferation of the virus ”, says the researcher.

Map Covid-19 - Pork slaughterhouses

According to the researchers, the evaluation was carried out based on the spread of the disease, and the meeting of its spatial patterns was obtained by concentration and propagation parameters. For the production of the maps, proportional circles were used for the relationship between size and the number of notifications of infected people, bonds and undertakings by municipality and geostatistics techniques.

“The knowledge of the Covid-19 spatial pattern not only offers possibilities to create mappings and cartographic products that are easy to assimilate, but mainly the production of knowledge that helps in the decision-making processes for the protection, safety and health of workers, especially in sectors that, for the most part, did not have their activities paralyzed due to the pandemic ”, said Lindberg Nascimento Júnior.

The researchers will publish the results of the research in a scientific journal, but have decided to publish the maps in advance to help the inspection bodies, such as the Public Ministry of Labor. “At the moment, we suggest that there is a wide investigation in the companies to identify possible cases. Subsequently, it is important to adopt measures to reduce the pace of production, distance between workers in the production lines and to remove it, guaranteeing the wages and rights of infected workers. These are some palliative measures that we pointed out in the article we are writing, ”said Fernando.




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