The challenges posed by re-opening businesses and factories has been starkly illustrated in India, which has begun to ease its lockdown in an effort to restart its stalled economy.
Nokia’s factory in Sriperumbudur in the southern state of Tamil Nadu makes telecoms equipment, but the Finnish firm last week suspended operations after a number of staff tested positive for Covid-19.
According to Reuters, Nokia did not Nokia did not disclose how many workers at the plant had tested positive, but a source familiar with the matter told it there were at least 42 positive tests.
The suspension of operations at the factory comes despite the factory that the firm had reportedly already implemented measures such as social distancing and changes to canteen facilities.
Nokia had begun operations at the factory in a restricted manner over the past few weeks.
“We hope to resume operations soon at a restricted level with skeletal staff strength,” Nokia reportedly said.
Reuters reported that last week Chinese smartphone maker OPPO suspended operations at a recently re-opened plant on the outskirts of Indian capital New Delhi,after at least nine workers tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
According to the latest data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), India has a remarkably small death toll from Coronavirus, despite it being the world’s second-most populous country.
India only has 145,380 confirmed cases, with just 4,167 deaths.
However, there remains question marks over the accuracy and completeness of these official tallies, as some countries have limited testing and diagnostic capabilities, meaning the actual death toll could well be much higher.
In the United States, companies such as Elon Musk’s Tesla, have campaigned vigorously to re-open factories after implementing social distancing and virus control measures.
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