A processing plant operated by South African fishing giant Sea Harvest has fully reopened following a mandated temporary part closure for failure to meet the government's COVID-19 health and safety standards.

Part of the plant in Saldanha Bay, near Cape Town, which employs about 1,400 employees, closed for 24 hours following a site inspection on June 17 by the Department of Employment and Labour.

The inspection came after the department was made aware of the growing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the factory and on vessels.

The DEL found the facility lacking in sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE), physical distancing procedures and other health and safety protocols in a certain part of the factory.

Konrad Geldenhuys, sales and marketing director at the company told IntraFish, the shutdown was only for 24 hours and only for certain parts of the facility. The company said 85 workers were infected with the virus. The latest figure is 42 cases, said Geldenhuys.

He added the company invited the DEL inspection on June 12 after being alarmed at the rise in cases.

The facility has 2,000 employees working at the site. In all, the company operates 28 facilities and 46 fishing vessels.

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