Chinese cities brace for wave of Foxconn workers from COVID hit Zhengzhou

BEIJING, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Cities in central China hastily drew up ideas to isolate migrant personnel fleeing to their hometowns from a large assembly facility of Apple iphone maker Foxconn (2317.TW) in COVID-hit Zhengzhou, fearing they could trigger coronavirus outbreaks .

Zhengzhou, money of central Henan province, reported 167 locally transmitted COVID-19 situations in the 7 times to Oct. 29, up from 97 infections in the prior seven-day interval.

Apple (AAPL.O) supplier Foxconn, dependent in Taiwan, at present has about 200,000 workers at its Zhengzhou complicated and has not disclosed the amount of contaminated employees, but said on Sunday that it would not stop staff from leaving.

Late on Saturday, cities in close proximity to Zhengzhou, like Yuzhou, Changge and Qinyang, urged Foxconn personnel to report to nearby authorities in advance prior to heading household.

Returning employees are to travel “level-to-point” in pre-organized autos and are to be quarantined on arrival, they explained in independent letters on their respective social media accounts dealt with to Zhengzhou Foxconn staff.

Less than China’s ultra-strict zero-COVID policy, cities are mandated to act quickly to quell any outbreaks, with actions that could include full-scale lockdowns. On Oct. 19, Foxconn banned all dine-in at canteens and required employees to just take their foods in their dormitories.

“The authorities agreed to resume dine-in foods to boost the benefit and satisfaction of employees’ lives,” Foxconn informed Reuters in an emailed reply to queries on Sunday.

“At the exact same time, for some workers who want to return property, the (plant) is cooperating with the govt to organize staff and vehicles to present a level-to-position orderly return service for personnel from now.”

Disruptions from China’s COVID guidelines to commerce and sector have intensified in new months as cases multiplied. Shanghai Disneyland explained on Saturday it would operate at lowered capacity. On Wednesday, Common Beijing Resort was suspended soon after the visit of one infected individual.

“We are quite informed that beneath the existing predicament, it is a protracted struggle,” Foxconn stated.

But the problem was steadily coming underneath handle, it stated, and Foxconn would coordinate back again-up manufacturing ability with its other vegetation to lower any probable influence.

Apple did not straight away reply to a Reuters ask for for remark on the Foxconn problem.

‘I Could not Assistance BUT Come to feel SAD’

Foxconn did not respond to Reuters questions on how many situations had been detected at its Zhengzhou plant and how quite a few personnel had still left.

Photos and movies circulating on Chinese social media because Saturday confirmed Foxconn employees, seemingly returning household, trekking across fields in the working day and along streets at night. Reuters could not promptly confirm the authenticity of the posts.

In a demonstrate of assist, residents in the vicinity left bottled water and provisions up coming to roads with indicators this kind of as: “For Foxconn workers returning property”, according to social media posts.

“Some men and women were strolling amid wheat fields with their baggage, blankets and quilts,” wrote a person of WeChat in a publish about the social media illustrations or photos.

“I couldn’t aid but truly feel unfortunate.”

Reporting by Ryan Woo and Ziyi Tang Enhancing by Edmund Klamann and Nick Macfie

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Concepts.

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