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Quanta Shanghai Manufacturing City appears to be an excellent location for China’s “closed-loop” management system, which compels workers to reside and work on-site in a protected bubble, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The site, which spans 20 football fields, has manufacturing, residential quarters for 40,000 workers, some of whom live 12 to a room, and even a store. However, once COVID-19 breached Quanta’s defences, the system collapsed into chaos. Tracker for Coronavirus Vaccinations: How many individuals in Canada have received shots? A research discovered that long-term COVID causes cognitive deterioration similar to ageing by 20 years.
Newsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox. Videos posted online showed more than a hundred Quanta workers physically overwhelming security guards in hazmat suits and vaulting over factory gates to escape being trapped inside the factory amid rumours that workers on the floor that day tested positive for COVID-19. The turmoil at Quanta underscores the struggles Shanghai faces to get its factories, many of them key links in global supply chains, back up to speed even as much of the city of 25 million remains locked down under China’s “dynamic-zero” COVID policy. Taiwan-based Quanta puts together about three-quarters of Apple’s global MacBook production and also manufactures computer circuit boards for Tesla.
Quanta did not respond to a request for comment on the videos, which appeared on Chinese social media platforms before being taken down. Apple declined to comment and Tesla did not respond to a request for comment. Quanta set up its closed-loop to restart work at the factory on April 18 with about five per cent of its workforce, or 2,000 employees, with plans to triple that by April 22. Chinese state media touted the restart as an example of how Shanghai was keeping business open in the country’s biggest economic hub, while adhering to stringent COVID-19 measures.
But cases have been reported daily at an address belonging to the campus from March 26 to May 4, according to Shanghai government data. Quanta has not disclosed the number of cases among its workers. Calls seeking help to bring attention to positive cases which were not being isolated at Quanta began appearing on Weibo from April 6, five days after Shanghai implemented a city-wide lockdown.
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