Some South Korean Samsung, Hyundai employees self-quarantine

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Some South Korean workers at Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor are staying home as a precautionary measure as South Korea scrambles to avoid the coronavirus outbreak from causing widespread disruption in the country.

About 1,500 employees of Samsung Electronics’ phone complex in the southeastern city of Gumi have self-quarantined after one of its employees was infected with the disease, a person knowledgeable with the matter said. They include 900 employees who commute to Gumi from neighboring Daegu city, the person stated.

The southeastern city of Daegu – the epicenter of the virus outbreak in the country- and nearby cities are an industrial center in South Korea, Asia’s fourth-biggest economy, and home to plants of Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor and a number of others.

South Korea on Monday reported 161 latest cases of the coronavirus, bringing the overall number of infected patients in the nation to 763, a day after the government raised its disease alert to its highest level.

Samsung Electronics shares dropped 4.1% and Hyundai Motor fell 4.3%, as the increase in new coronavirus cases intensified concerns about the epidemic’s fallout on the economy and businesses.

Samsung stated it has resumed production at its phone factory complex located in Gumi on Monday, after shutting it over the weekend, adding that the floor where the infected worker worked will resume production on Tuesday.

“As of 1 p.m. KT (0400 GMT) Feb. 24, the Gumi Complex has started normal operations and we expect no impact on production,” Samsung stated.

Samsung’s Gumi factory represents a small portion of its overall phone production, but it produces premium phones and foldable phones, research firm Counterpoint stated.

Six workers at Hyundai Motor’s factories in the southeastern city of Ulsan are also inside home, with four of them associated to a church at the center of the virus outbreak, a union spokesman stated.

“We are walking on ice,” one Hyundai factory worker informed Reuters.

A Hyundai Motor spokesman stated there has been no production disruption until now as the automaker has inventory.

With virus fears spreading nationwide, Hyundai installed thermal cameras at all of its operations across the nation, including its headquarters located in Seoul, to view temperatures.

The coronavirus has so far killed 11 people and stricken more than 900 people in South Korea.

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