Coronavirus: iPhone and Samsung factories shut down after workers infected with deadly virus

Plants affected include those involved in production of iPhone, Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 02 March 2020 15:05
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Coronavirus cases: The spread outside China

Samsung and Apple supply factories have been forced to shut down in South Korea due to the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak, according to reports.

Production of smartphones and components was halted at facilities in Gumi, located in a region where the majority of coronavirus cases in the country have been confirmed.

The Samsung closure will affect the production of the firm's latest Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy S20 phones, though it is not yet clear if the release date will be delayed.

LG Innotek, which supplies camera modules for iPhones, said it would close its Gumi plant until Tuesday while it is being disinfected, Reuters reported.

It is the second time in recent weeks that Samsung has shut down a facility in an effort to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Last week, an employee at the Gumi complex tested positive for coronavirus, forcing a temporary closure of the production plant. Colleagues of the infected employee were placed in self-quarantine by the world's biggest smartphone maker.

A Samsung spokesperson told The Independent there would be "no impact on production" following the first closure. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest shut down.

The South Korean tech giant also cancelled a ground-breaking ceremony for its new $220 million research and development centre in Vietnam due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

Apple has already warned investors that it does not expect to hit quarterly earnings targets as a result of the outbreak limiting the production of iPhones.

“Our first priority – now and always – is the health and safety of employees, supply chain partners, customers and the communities in which we operate," stated a note to investors.

There have been close to 90,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world, with more than 3,000 deaths. The vast majority have been in China, where the virus originated, however South Korea is the second-worst affected country.

South Korean President Moon-Jae-in said his government "has adequate ability and confidence to control and manage the spread of the infectious disease".

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