Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (鴻海精密), a key supplier to Apple Inc, has asked its Taiwanese employees who work at its plant in Wuhan, China, but are back in Taiwan for the Lunar New Year holiday to stay home, given the new coronavirus outbreak in the city.
Hon Hai, known internationally as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), yesterday said that no health problems had been found so far in its Wuhan-based employees who had returned to Taiwan for the holiday, but it had asked them not to attend the annual year-end party in Taipei yesterday, and to stay home during the holiday in case of any contagion.
“We also urge any colleague who had been to Wuhan over the past two weeks to report to the company and rest at home for safety’s sake,” company founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) said in his speech at the party.
“2020 is full of challenges,” Gou said. “The outbreak of coronavirus is one of them.”
“The speed of contagion will be no less than Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome,” he said, referring to the 2002-2003 epidemic that started in China and killed nearly 800 people globally.
“I advise everyone not to go to the mainland for this coming new year holiday,” he added.
The company stepped up health checks at the party at the Nangang Exhibition Hall, including providing 35,000 facemasks and checking everyone’s temperature as they entered the venue.
Since the outbreak, Foxconn workers in Wuhan have been wearing facemasks and getting their temperature checked, the company said.
Management has to decide whether those Taiwanese who work in Wuhan need to return there to work after the holiday, Gou said.
Management needs to come up with solutions such as video conference systems for employees if they are to work remotely from Taiwan, Gou said.
Hon Hai is expected to get through this situation, as it had been trained and survived SARS, he added.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg
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