The meat giant Danish Crown on Saturday said it had closed a large slaughterhouse after nearly 150 employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus. COVID-19 cases in Denmark and other European countries have shown increases in recent days.
The abattoir in the town of Ringsted, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital, Copenhagen, employs nearly 900 people and slaughters tens of thousands of pigs each week.
Danish Crown said 120 employees tested positive for the virus in an initial round of tests of 600 employees present.
After retesting, 22 additional infections were detected.
"For this reason, we are closing the abattoir for at least a week to try to break the chain of transmission among employees on site," Danish Crown said in a statement.
The company, one of Denmark's biggest exporters, is the largest pork-product maker in Europe. Numerous slaughterhouses have been hit with the virus in recent months, especially in neighboring Germany.
The cluster at Ringsted is the main active one in Denmark. Cases in the Scandinavian nation have risen sharply in recent days, with the government shelving a plan to ease restrictions at concert halls and nightclubs.
Aarhus, the country's second-biggest city, has registered several dozen infections.
Here are the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus around the world:
French authorities have mandated that Parisians wear face masks in crowded areas and tourist hotspots as coronavirus infections once again surge in the region.
The rate of positive cases in the greater Paris region now stands at 2.4% compared with a national average of 1.6%, according to French officials.
Masks will be obligatory for all those aged 11 and over "in certain very crowded zones," according to a police statement.
The zones include the banks of the Seine River and more than a 100 streets in the French capital, including tourist destinations like Montmartre, where the Sacre Coeur basilica is located.
Compulsory testing for people arriving in Germany from coronavirus risk areas came into force on Saturday, with the list of risk areas updated every day by the disease control agency the Robert Koch Institute. Daily infections of COVID-19 in Germany rose by over 1,000 for the third day in a row, reflecting a trend not seen since May.
In Belgium, which has registered about 70,000 cases and 9,800 deaths, the city of Brussels has warned that it is prepared to require people to wear masks in public spaces and in private spaces accessible to the public if infections continue to rise.
Germany's Foreign Ministry said tourist trips to the Belgian province of Antwerp were unadvisable, citing "renewed high infection numbers."
Poland is also set to re-impose compulsory face masks in all public spaces in nine of its districts, in response to a rise in infections. The restrictions, which went into effect on Saturday, will also affect sports and cultural events in those areas, mainly in the south and east.
Greece, which had thus far fared better in the pandemic, declared a "wake-up week" on COVID-19, tightening restrictions after the steady rise in mostly domestic infections, which officials have blamed on overcrowding in clubs and social events.
Latin America and the Caribbean have surpassed Europe to become the hardest-hit region by coronavirus deaths. The region reported 213,120 fatalities, 460 more than Europe. Brazil alone has reported a COVID-19 death toll of almost 100,000, nearly half of the region's total.
With more than 2.9 million infections since the pandemic began, Brazil has the world's worst coronavirus outbreak after the US. Mexico came close behind, with a death toll that has surged past 50,000. The country has nearly 470,000 registered infections.
As the infections remain high in the US, negotiations for another economic relief package between the White House and Congress broke down. The Trump administration is now considering using executive orders over the weekend to resume enhanced unemployment benefits and reinstate a moratorium on evictions, among other benefits.
ed,jcg,rc/dr (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)