Contract electronics manufacturer Wistron Corp (緯創) yesterday confirmed that one of its employees had tested positive for COVID-19.
The employee works at its offices in New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止), but has not been in since Friday last week, Wistron said.
The company said it does not expect its operations to be affected by the employee’s health status, or the nationwide level 3 COVID-19 restrictions.
Photo courtesy of Wistron Corp
“The case in question has not been linked with any other individuals at the company,” Wistron said. “We have introduced staggered shifts and separate zones to try and keep employees safe. Since Tuesday, people who are able to do so have been working from home.”
Employees in the research and development and sales departments who can easily work from home have been doing so since Tuesday, including the person in question, it said.
However, the company did not give a firm figure of how many of its staff are working from home.
“Of course, the production staff cannot work from home,” it said. “However, as most of our production facilities are outside of Taiwan, we do not anticipate any work stoppages.”
There have been other tech companies in Taiwan whose employees have tested positive for COVID-19, including Pegatron (和碩) and Largan Precision Co (大立光).
However, since tech companies mostly have their headquarters and research and development unit in Taiwan, but the bulk of their production facilities offshore, their production is unlikely to be seriously affected by the current outbreak, National Central University (國立中央大學) professor Dachrahn Wu (吳大任) said.
“Tech companies are unlikely to have their production affected by the outbreak because their office staff can work from home and their factory staff are often offshore,” Wu said. “However, look for traditional production to become seriously affected if the COVID-19 clusters spread outside of Taipei and New Taipei City into the industrial stronghold of Taoyuan.”
In general, Wu said he is optimistic about Taiwan recovering from the current outbreak even under level 3 alert, or a soft lockdown.
“We might be able to avoid a hard level 4 lockdown because in general people are compliant when it comes to contact tracing and reducing unnecessary contact,” he said.
However, should Taiwan fail to curb the outbreak and resort to a level 4 hard lockdown, the economic damage would be far higher, he said.
“Even if you are as highly automated as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), somebody has to come in and run the fabs,” he said. “There would be a big difference in economic impact between level 3 and a level 4 lockdown.”
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