Restrictions lifted over neighborhood of iPhone’s main assembler in China

Beijing, Nov 9 (EFE).- The neighborhood in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, where Foxconn – world’s largest iPhone assembler – is situated announced on Wednesday the end of covid restrictions that started on Nov.2.

However, residents of several areas of the neighborhood, still considered at high risk of infection, will not be allowed to leave their homes.

Meanwhile, schools and other institutions will continue holding online classes, restaurants will only prepare take-away orders and places such as karaoke halls, gyms, and cybercafes will remain closed.

Those wishing to go out of the neighborhood, which has some 600,000 inhabitants, will need a negative PCR test taken less than 24 hours before.

Factories like the one of Taiwanese company Foxconn will continue to operate under a “closed-loop” system, where employees stay within the premises.

The authorities Zhengzhou, housing 10 million inhabitants, reported Wednesday 159 new covid cases detected in the last 24 hours, apart from 884 asymptomatic cases.

Over the last three weeks, the city has been facing a fresh covid outbreak, during which lockdowns have been imposed in numerous areas.

Around the end of October, videos on Chinese social media showed how Foxconn employees abandoned the plant and faced difficulties in returning to their homes due to partial lockdown of the city.

Chinese netizens were outraged by footage of workers climbing fences of the factory with their belongings and going to their hometowns on foot as public transport remained partially suspended in the city.

Not long before the departure of employees, the company had denied rumors that 20,000 of about 350,000 factory workers had been infected by covid.

Since 2020, large factories in China, such as Foxconn, have responded to outbreaks in surrounding areas by setting up “closed-loops” to avoid infections from outside and a disruption in production.

This has often led to protests from workers over poor living conditions and the lack of sufficient supplies.

In the past few days, Foxconn announced an increase in daily wages as an attempt to retain its employees.

China has continued its “zero-Covid” policy, which involves isolation of all infected people and their close contacts, strict border control, movement restrictions and mass PCR tests in places where they detect infections.

According to official data, the pandemic has caused 5,226 deaths since it started in China, whose authorities maintain that the “zero-Covid” policy has saved millions of lives. EFE

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