China: Foxconn employees flee amid COVID outbreak
Beijing, Nov 01: Workers at the world's largest iPhone factory in central China have been leaving their workplace in their droves following multiple COVID outbreaks which prompted complaints of unsafe working conditions.
Employees started leaving the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou after some fell ill in mid-October and received no treatment, according to an employee who spoke to the AP news agency on condition of anonymity.
"There are still people getting infected at the assembly lines, and they are still worried about going to work," the employee said on Monday by phone from Zhengzhou.
Footage circulating on social media over the weekend appeared to show workers fleeing the Foxconn's campus in Zhengzhou and returning to their hometowns on foot, in a bid to avoid COVID-19 travel restrictions.
In one of the videos, people are seen hoisting suitcases as they climb up a hillside, while another shows people sitting around with their luggage by the side of a road as a person in protective clothing sprays what appears to be disinfectant at them.
In a statement on Monday, Foxconn rejected rumors that 20,000 staff had been diagnosed with COVID and said the numbers were false.
While most other parts of the world are attempting to minimize COVID-related restrictions, China is committed to maintaining its zero-COVID policy, with authorities implementing snap lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines in an effort to quell outbreaks.
Visitors stranded at Disneyland Shanghai
The Disney Resort in Shanghai, for instance, abruptly shut its doors on Monday as Chinese authorities quickly imposed a lockdown, trapping guests on the premises.
Visitors to the Disney Resort in China's biggest city are not allowed to leave "until on-site testing returns a negative result", the city government said in an online notice on Monday.
People who had visited the park since Thursday must obtain three negative test results over three successive days and "avoid participating in group activities," the statement added.
Monday's development came after Disney said it was "temporarily closing with immediate effect... in accordance with disease control requirements."
The 390-hectare (960-acre) theme park and resort includes Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown and Wishing Star Park. The resort had previously said that it was operating at reduced capacity due to restrictions.
"We will notify guests as soon as we have a confirmed date to resume operations," Disney said.