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March 27, 2020

Port of Paranagua in Brazil takes Precautions to Protect Workers

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Agriculture is the top performing sector of the Brazilian economy and government officials are doing everything they can to keep Brazilian ports functioning normally just as Brazil enters its peak export season.

The Port of Paranagua is Brazil's second largest port and they have probably done more than any other port to safeguard the health and safety of the workers during the coronavirus pandemic in order to keep the port functioning normally.

The port has contracted medical and cleaning teams to attend to the needs of workers on a 24-hour basis. They have set up medical stations, they have 32 showers and 60 sinks for the workers to wash their hands and take a shower if needed. They have on hand 20,000 liters of alcohol gel, 150 liters of antiseptic soap the type used in hospitals, 5,000 pairs of gloves, 10,000 surgical masks, in addition to what is needed in order to isolate any worker if needed. Workers can also wash their feet with sodium hypochlorite solution.

When workers come to work, their temperatures are taken by the medical staff. Entrances to the port have been adjusted so that workers and pedestrians do not come into close contact. All entrances and exits are disaffected frequently.

When truckers arrive at the port's staging area, their temperatures are taken. Anyone with a temperature is questioned by the medical staff concerning their symptoms and state of health. Anyone with mild symptoms will be given priority to unload their grain and return to their homes. Those with more severe symptoms that might require hospitalization, will be taken to the local hospital where isolation wards have been set up.

Other ports in Brazil have not taken these extensive measures and truck drivers are very appreciative of the port's efforts to keep everyone safe, especially since truck drivers must stay on the road traveling to all parts of the country.

Port officials have stated that they are taking these extra precautions to protect workers who are preforming a critical function for Brazilian society.