All the staff of the iPhone at tech giant Foxconn’s plant in central China will be quarantined for up to two weeks, the company announced on Thursday. The company’s decision comes as a safety measure to fight against the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China.
Foxconn is the world’s biggest contract electronics maker and assembles Apple’s iPhones as well as gadgets for other international brands. The company, also known by its official name Hon Hai Precision, maintains a vast network of factories in China. As per reports, Foxconn will resume operations on Feb 10 after an extended Chinese New Year holiday caused by the outbreak, as ordered by the Chinese government.
The company has advised employees at the Zhengzhou plant to be quarantined for seven-fourteen days, respectively. Foxconn is trying to reduce fears production shortfalls as it had the experience of viral outbreaks after the SARS epidemic in 2003. SARS appeared in China in 2002 and spread worldwide within a few months.
The outbreak of 2019-nCoV first originated in a Wuhan seafood market. The outbreak has also set a global alarm by rapidly transmitting human to human. The death toll from the new coronavirus has exceeded that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2002 and 2003 in mainland China. It has already spread to more than 20 countries. In China, it has killed more than 560 and affected more than 28,000.
Foxconn is China’s biggest private-sector employer, with more than one million people working in around 30 factories. A total of 11 cases has been confirmed so far in Taiwan, most people returning from Wuhan. If not re-open on February 10, the iPhone shipments would be affected, claimed reports. Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo predicted there could be 10% down on expectations.