China will confine eight districts of the city of Zhengzhou (center) for five days due to the increase in covid-19 cases, where the main iPhone manufacturing plant in the country is located, the protagonist of violent protests in recent days.
The health authorities will begin a “war of pandemic annihilation, control and prevention” on Friday at 00:00 local time (16:00 GMT on Thursday) in the main urban areas of the city due to the increase in covid cases, the local government reported.
Residents of central Zhengzhou will require a negative covid test and permission from local authorities to leave the confined area, though they are advised not to leave their homes “unless necessary.”
The reactions to the news on the country’s social networks, such as Weibo – equivalent to Twitter (NYSE: TWTR ), censored in China – were instantaneous and the majority questioned that the closure will only last five days.
Meanwhile, Foxconn (TW: 2354 ), the Taiwanese supplier to US company Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) and a major iPhone assembler, issued a statement defending its position after videos of it went viral on social media. workers at his factory violently protesting their working conditions and wages.
Foxconn’s plant has been running in “closed loop” for at least a month, meaning workers can’t leave the facility, and in recent weeks it has scrambled to hire more workers to normalize production and replace the hundreds who left to avoid being confined.
The company assured that in the event of “any violence”, the firm will follow a communication process with the workers and the authorities to “prevent similar incidents from happening again”, in what would be a confirmation of the incidents that occurred yesterday, but censored on the social networks of the Asian country.
The employees of the Foxconn plant left their residences during the early hours of Wednesday, pushing guards clad in PPE suits, according to the videos, reproduced on platforms such as Twitter, banned in China.
Some of the guards beat the workers as crowds of people tried to force their way through the barricades and protested over wages, food during the lockdown or the accumulation of rubbish.
Since 2020, large factories in China, such as Foxconn’s in Zhengzhou, have responded to outbreaks in nearby areas by establishing a “closed loop,” which isolates workers for long periods at the facility to avoid contagion from outside and maintain production. which has sometimes caused protests due to poor sanitary conditions or the lack of food.
China remains clinging to the ‘zero covid’ policy, which consists of isolating all those infected and their close contacts, strict border controls, mobility restrictions and massive PCR test campaigns wherever a case is detected.