Covid lockdown is imposed by China for 600,000 residents near the iPhone facility.

Covid lockdown is imposed by China for 600,000 residents near the iPhone facility.

Covid lockdown is imposed by China for 600,000 residents near the iPhone facility.

Beijing: On Wednesday, Chinese authorities enforced lockdowns on 600,000 residents in the vicinity of the largest iPhone manufacturing in the world after workers raised concerns about erratic Covid controls there.

The Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone in central China issued a statement stating that everyone, with the exception of Covid-prevention volunteers and vital personnel, “must not leave their dwellings except to undergo Covid testing and emergency medical care.”

The action was taken after pictures of individuals escaping the factory, which is managed by Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn and produces goods for Apple, surfaced on Chinese social media last week.

The bad working conditions, a shortage of supplies, and having to leave the facility on foot to escape Covid transit limits were all complaints made online by employees. At its Zhengzhou facility, Foxconn claims that there are presently more than 200,000 employees.

One 30-year-old employee of Foxconn told AFP that “being paid is not important now, the most important thing is to survive,” adding that he was remaining at the plant out of fear of escalating an outbreak in his village.

The employee, who wished to remain unnamed, said: “The anti-virus procedures on campus are shambolic, virus-negative individuals are living together with virus-positive people.”

He criticised the “not satisfying” meals served to workers and the paucity of medicine for sick coworkers.

As the final major economy to commit to a zero-Covid approach, China continues to implement sudden lockdowns, extensive testing, and protracted quarantines in an effort to contain spreading epidemics.

A large portion of the nation now lives under an ever-changing patchwork of Covid restrictions as a result of new varieties that have taxed local authorities’ capacity to put out flare-ups before they spread.

The district in Zhengzhou city said on Wednesday that all firms would have to operate remotely, with only “important enterprises” being permitted to remain open. Which firms fit within that group wasn’t made clear.

On the streets, only medical and delivery vehicles are permitted.

The local administration said that daily nucleic acid testing will be required of the district’s more than 600,000.

The Foxconn facilities, including the staff dorms, will be “thoroughly disinfected” over the course of the next three days, according to the Communist Party-run Dahe Daily on Wednesday. Before returning to their hometowns, workers quarantined at the factory would need to provide seven days of negative testing.

The government had further committed to set up a hotline for employee counselling and to provide meals on schedule, according to the newspaper.

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