The Spanish car manufacturer Seat will carry out tests to detect the new coronavirus on all of its 15,000 employees, in order to gradually restart production from April 27. It has been stopped since mid-March.
“Seat will carry out PCR tests on its 15,000 employees to guarantee their health and prevent contagion from Covid-19,” the group said in a statement on Friday.
“The company will gradually restart production on April 27 and perform more than 3,000 weekly tests,” said Seat, noting that it had obtained union approval for the operation. The first tests began on Wednesday morning at three of the group’s sites.
The test results, “anonymous and confidential, will serve as the basis for a scientific study,” said Seat. In addition to the tests, the production lines will be reorganized in order to be able to maintain a safety distance of two meters between workers.
Masks and gel provided
The facilities will be disinfected and disinfectant masks and gels will be provided to employees. The manufacturer hopes to return to the pace of production before the crisis “from June”, depending on the evolution of the pandemic.
Seat had stopped production on March 16 at its factory in Martorell, near Barcelona, which was suffering in particular from supply problems with spare parts when very strict confinement had just been declared on March 14.
During this shutdown, the group manufactured masks and respirators for its coronavirus patients on its assembly lines, developed from a wiper motor.
All the other car factories in the country, the second European manufacturer after Germany, also stopped their production.
Spain is the third most bereaved country in the world behind the United States and Italy, with more than 21,700 deaths and 208,000 cases. Containment must be extended there Wednesday until May 9 inclusive.
ats, awp, afp