Monday, January 18, 2021

ICIS: German chemical plants don't want to shut down for COVID lockdown

From ICIS: 

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s top chemical industry trade groups are rejecting calls to shut down plants as part of the country’s “hard lockdown” to contain the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“A shutdown would be counter-productive, in all respects”, chemical producers group VCI and employers group BAVC said in a joint statement on Friday.

The chemical-pharmaceutical industry makes “key contributions” to containing the pandemic, the trade groups said,  in vaccine production, the manufacture of essential medicines or as the most important upstream supplier for diagnostics, medical, and laboratory equipment manufacturers.

As such, a shutdown would “considerably weaken” the fight against the coronavirus.

Furthermore, the closure of companies or plants could not be justified on an economic or commercial basis.

“Without chemical supplies, the entire industry and thus almost 30% of our economy would stand still”, they said.

Some German politicians have called for companies to increase “working from home”, and they urged to consider the closure of industrial plants in order to contain the virus.

I genuinely have a difficult time seeing a chemical plant (any chemical plant) as being a major speader of COVID, but I suspect that spread amongst operators and other employees happens in changing rooms and the like. 

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