January 8, 2021 

Top canned tuna producer Thai Union says its factories are operating as per normal after 69 COVID-19 cases

Thai Union Group, the world's biggest canned tuna producer, said its factories are operating as per normal after 69 COVID-19 cases were detected among its 23,000 workers at the company's plants southwest of Bangkok, Reuters reported.


The company said in a statement that it had tested 23,630 workers at its plants in Samut Sakhon province, where a COVID-19 cluster of cases was detected at a shrimp market in end-December 2020.


Thiraphong Chansiri, chief executive of Thai Union, said factories will remain in operation as only a small number of workers were infected by COVID-19. The company will conduct deep cleaning at its factories, organise fewer meetings in-person and follow government health guidelines.


The company said workers with symptoms will be treated according to government protocols, while workers without symptoms will quarantine at home or at locations designated by the company.


Thiraphong said all its workers in Samut Sakhon will be tested for COVID-19. The company did not state how many of its workers were migrant workers.

The company has not closed any of its plants in Samut Sakhon, as it said a two-week shutdown would affect 2% of its total revenue. However, it said it will not rule out closures if the situation worsens.


In December, a COVID-19 cluster emerged at a shrimp market in Samut Sakhon. Authorities tested tens of thousands workers in the province, the centre of Thailand's seafood industry. There are thousands of migrant workers based in the province.


Thai Union owns the Chicken of the Sea and John West brands.


- Reuters