Spanish owned strawberry plants in Morocco are breeding grounds for coronavirus

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Morocco recently reported a record rise in coronavirus cases with a daily spike of over 550 reported cases, data from the WHO shows. Moroccan local authorities identified two Spanish-owned strawberry and berry processing plants as outbreak hotspots. The plants belong to Frigodar and Natberry, two Spanish owned companies that operate in the agricultural regions between Larache and Rabat in the Northern Atlantic region of the country. The plants specialize in the packing and freezing of berries. The surge in cases has prompted Moroccan Ministry of Home Affairs to tighten restrictions and limit access to several towns and villages in the area.

The Sevillian company Frigodar employs 1,313 Moroccan workers, of which 457 resulted positive to COVID-19 on a single day, authorities say. The morbidity rate in the area increased dramatically among employees’ relatives and other civilians. The North Atlantic region rapidly became a COVID-19 hotspot at the end of June. This confirms that workplaces are a prime incubator for contamination. As a result, the Moroccan government has temporarily shut down the foreign owned plants. 



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