Workers in China flee one of world’s largest iPhone factories amid Covid curbs
BEIJING — Migrant workers in central China are fleeing one of the world’s largest iPhone factories amid a coronavirus outbreak in the surrounding city of Zhengzhou, leading local officials to hastily draw up plans to isolate them once they return to their hometowns.
Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province, reported 167 locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in the seven days to Oct. 29, up from 97 infections in the prior seven-day period.
Apple supplier Foxconn, based in Taiwan, currently has about 200,000 workers at its Zhengzhou complex and has not disclosed the number of infected workers, but said on Sunday that it would not stop workers from leaving.
Late on Saturday, cities near Zhengzhou, including Yuzhou, Changge and Qinyang, urged Foxconn workers to report to local authorities in advance before heading home.
Returning workers are to travel “point-to-point” in pre-arranged vehicles and are to be quarantined on arrival, they said in separate letters on their respective social media accounts addressed to Foxconn workers in Zhengzhou.
Under China’s strict zero-Covid policy, cities are mandated to act swiftly to quell any outbreaks, with measures that could include full-scale lockdowns.