10 tea pickers test positive for COVID-19 as harvest begins
Ten people from around 7,000 tea producers have tested positive for the coronavirus, as the country has permitted exceptional inter-city travel to tea collectors travelling to the Black Sea province of Rize to collect this year’s harvest.
Producers were taken into isolation in their homes a week before the harvest began and were being examined by health officials during the preparations.
However, the test results of 10 people from around 7,000 producers who came to the province with a special travel permit document turned out to be positive.
As the 10 people were being treated in hospitals, family members they were in contact with were also screened by the teams.
The teams, wearing masks, gloves, protective glasses and gear, continue to work on the field to detect the people with whom the patients were in contact.
Some 16,000 tea farmers, about 8,000 of them from Istanbul, arrived in Rize on May 24, according to Kemal Çeber, the province’s governor.
The harvest continues at full pace in some fields, while it is expected to start at the beginning of June in others.