Local governments across China are trying to navigate the balance between economic impact and the spread of the deadly coronavirus as workplaces gradually start to resume operations. Beijing has deferred the decision of which workplaces can go back to work when to local authorities, with some large, important and well-connected factories having already re-started production.
However, the decision to allow workers back is not without its risks, as demonstrated by several cases documented by the SCMP today. Gree Electric, China’s biggest air-conditioner manufacturer, has been forced to quarantine an unknown number of employees after a bus driver who ferried workers to and from the factory was discovered to have been in close proximity to a suspected case. Gree was one of the first companies to resume production in Guangdong province last week, with 11,000 workers — only a third of the plant’s overall workforce — going back to the factory floor.
Meanwhile in Chongqing, the Chongqing Titanium Industry company has been forced to stop production once again and quarantine 130 personal after two employees tested positive for the virus, according to a notice from the industrial park where the plant is based. And in Shenzhen, the local health department has reported that an employee in one of the city’s supermarkets has been infected.
Such cases demonstrate the dilemma local governments face in their efforts to control the virus while mitigating the impact on the economy. Huge numbers of factories, offices, educational institutions and recreational facilities across the country remain closed while they await official government confirmation that they can resume business as usual.
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Keywords: work-related infections in China
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any company has a duty of care for the health and well-being of employees. If an employee becomes ill due to the negligent behaviour of allowing ill people back to work, the company exposes itself to lawsuits for loss of income of their employees. Only a greedy company will put profit before the health and well-bring of their employees and not provide alternative working arrangements.
Feb 18, 2020 23:21 Report Abuse