BEIJING, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Cities in central China have hurriedly drawn up plans to isolate migrant workers fleeing iPhone maker Foxconn’s sprawling assembly facility for their hometowns. (2317.TW) Fearing that it could lead to the spread of the coronavirus, it struck down the COVID in Zhengzhou.
Zhengzhou, the capital of central Henan province, reported 167 local cases of COVID-19 in seven days through October. 29, up from 97 infections in the previous seven days.
apple (AAPL.O) Taiwan-based supplier Foxconn, which currently has about 200,000 workers at its Zhengzhou complex, did not disclose the number of workers infected, but said on Sunday it would not prevent workers from leaving.
Late on Saturday, cities near Zhengzhou, including Yuzhou, Changge and Qinyang, urged Foxconn workers to notify local authorities in advance before going home.
Returning workers must travel “point-to-point” in pre-arranged vehicles and be quarantined upon arrival, they said in separate letters on social media accounts addressed to Zhengzhou Foxconn workers.
Under China’s extremely strict zero-COVID policy, cities have been ordered to move quickly to contain any outbreaks, with measures that could include full-scale lockdowns. On October 19, Foxconn is prohibited all dined in canteens and required workers to take their meals in their dormitories.
“The government has agreed to generalize lunches to improve the convenience and satisfaction of workers’ lives,” Foxconn told Reuters in an emailed response to inquiries on Sunday.
“At the same time, for some workers who want to return home, (the factory) is cooperating with the government to arrange personnel and vehicles to provide a regular point-to-point return service for workers from today.”
Disruptions to trade and industry from China’s COVID policies have intensified in recent weeks as cases surge. Shanghai Disneyland said it would operate at reduced capacity on Saturday. on wednesday Universal Beijing Resort stopped after one visit from an infected person.
“We know very well that as it stands now, it’s a long battle,” Foxconn said.
But it said the situation was gradually being brought under control and that Foxconn would coordinate spare production capacity with its other plants to mitigate the potential impact.
Apple did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the Foxconn situation.
“I COULD NOT HELP BUT DISAPPOINTED”
Foxconn did not respond to questions from Reuters about how many cases had been detected at its Zhengzhou plant and how many workers had been laid off.
Photos and videos circulating on Chinese social media since Saturday show Foxconn workers returning home, walking the fields during the day and the roads at night. Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the posts.
In a show of support, nearby residents left bottled water and food along the roads with signs such as “For Foxconn workers returning home,” according to social media posts.
“Some people were walking through the wheat fields with their luggage, blankets and blankets,” a WeChat user posted on the social media footage.
“I couldn’t help but be sad.”
Reporting by Ryan Woo and Ziyi Tang; Edited by Edmund Klamann and Nick Macfie
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.