Chinese Workers flee COVID Lockdown at iPhone Factory

(CTN News) – After a Covid outbreak caused employees to lock down at the workplace, workers have escaped Apple’s biggest iPhone production plant in China.

About ten individuals were seen in a video posted online climbing a barrier outside the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou, located in the heart of China.

The strict zero-Covid policy of Chinese President Xi Jinping is still causing problems for the country’s citizens and enterprises.

How many Covid instances have been found at the plant is unknown.

According to the Reuters news agency, Zhengzhou, the capital of China’s Henan province, recorded 167 locally transmitted diseases last week, up from 97 the week before.

Consequently, part of the metropolis of around 10 million people was under rigorous lockdown as China continues to combat Covid.

With hundreds of thousands of employees at its Zhengzhou site, Foxconn is a supplier to US-based Apple but has not released an official estimate of how many of them are affected.

On Sunday, the Taiwan-based corporation said it would not prevent employees from quitting.

covid-19, chinese workers flee covid lockdown at iphone factory

However, according to a video posted on Chinese social media and shared by Stephen McDonnell, the BBC’s China reporter, employees were purportedly captured fleeing the property and starting long trips back to their hometowns to escape being apprehended on public transportation.

One employee, identified only as Xia, 22, told the Financial Times that the dorms where he and other employees were housed were “complete mayhem.” He said we leaped a metal barrier and a plastic fence to leave the school.

Workers also said that to limit the epidemic, the region around the facility had been under lockdown for days and that workers who tested positive for Covid were subjected to daily testing and quarantines.

On October 19, Foxconn declared that all dine-in catering would be prohibited at the Zhengzhou factory and that employees would be compelled to eat in their rooms.

While the facility scaled up manufacturing of the newest iPhone 14 models, the firm informed reporters that “regular production” was being maintained.

According to a statement released by Foxconn on Sunday, “the government decided to restore dine-in meals to increase the convenience and enjoyment of workers’ lives.”

The statement also said that “the [factory] is cooperating with the government to organize staff and cars to offer a point-to-point orderly return service for workers beginning today” for anyone wishing to return home.

The BBC has contacted Foxconn for comment.

Cities in China are granted the authority to act quickly to contain any viral outbreaks as part of the country’s stringent zero-Covid policy. This might range from complete lockdowns to frequent testing and travel limitations.

Several people had hoped that President Xi would rescind the law before the end of the year, but he made it plain at the most recent 20th Communist Party conference that this would not happen anytime soon.

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