A South Korean Samsung factory temporarily shut down operations after one of its employees was infected by the coronavirus.
There have been 833 coronavirus cases in South Korea, according to NPR. Most of those cases are in Daegu, a city located near the Gumi factory. While the factory was only closed until Monday morning, the floor the employee worked on remains closed until Tuesday. Some of its employees have been placed in self-quarantine, meaning they should try to isolate themselves at home and monitor their own health, according to Reuters.
“The company has placed colleagues who came in contact with the infected employee in self-quarantine and taken steps to have them tested for possible infection,” a Samsung spokesperson told Reuters.
While TechRadar reports that the factory's closing did not severely impact production on a large scale, it does serve as a portent of what is to come should large operations be affected by the disease's spread. With many major mobile manufacturers— Apple, Huawei, and Samsung—being based out of China and Southeast Asia, Telecoms.com reports that the disease's acceleration leaves their stability hanging in the balance.
Telecoms.com also reports that small outbreaks, such as the one seen at the Gumi factory, have prompted self-reflection across the industry. In a statement from Ryan Ding, an executive at Huawei, the company indicated that it was doing in-depth assessments to analyze its role in the disease's global impact.
With so much of smartphone production occurring in China and Southeast Asia, Telecoms.com further reports that the greatest concerns facing manufacturers are not only meeting customer demand but sourcing the components and raw materials in a way that does not exacerbate the problem.
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