Many factories in Shenzhen have managed to run at or near full capacity while adhering to the country’s “dynamic zero” COVID-19 policy, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported yesterday.
Their operations were not affected much even when Shenzhen imposed a citywide lockdown in March to battle a fresh outbreak in the city, the paper said.
Hu Jun, owner of BST Computer Accessory, a smartphone charging cable manufacturer in Guangming District, was quoted telling SCMP that the lockdown forced the factory to suspend operations for five days, but it was lifted on the fifth day before his application to resume production under a “closed-loop” system was approved.
In the industrial park where BST is located, medical staff conducted nucleic acid testing for workers every two days.
“The tests are organized by the government and free of charge,” Hu said.
Thanks to the preferential treatment granted by government, production in large numbers of industrial enterprises in Shenzhen remained uninterrupted. This practice has been copied by many other cities, the report said.
BST’s Hu said his factory would be able to run in closed-loop mode if there is another COVID-19 outbreak. At least 200 workers can sleep in the industrial park’s dormitory area, he said.
Many factories in Shenzhen are located in walled-off compounds in industrial areas, according to the SCMP report. Larger players like Foxconn Technology Group, the Taiwanese electronics giant that assembles iPhones, have their own campuses that make it even quicker to implement a closed-loop system.
The Foxconn factories in Longhua District suspended operations for just a few days this year during the lockdown. The two factories have been operating normally and “strictly following the anti-pandemic requirements of the government,” a Foxconn representative was quoted as saying.
After the lockdown was lifted in March, the city of 17 million adopted a new mandatory testing approach. It requires residents to present negative 72-hour nucleic acid test results when taking the Metro or entering factory compounds or other public venues. Local authorities have installed thousands of stands across the city to make testing free and easily accessible.
This model, which has embedded nucleic acid testing into everyday urban life, was later adopted by other major Chinese cities as an alternative to lockdowns, the report said.
Companies and enterprises in Shenzhen remain vigilant on COVID risks and they are doing everything in their power to ensure that epidemic prevention and control measures are in place and health protocols are strictly followed.
The general manager of a cable coating factory just a few miles away from BST in Guangming District, who declined to be named, told SCMP that he is not taking any chances because just one positive case in the compound could disrupt production.
“We will be able to go straight into closed-loop mode should there be another lockdown in the future,” the manager said.
His office decor proved he had begun to prepare: a bunk bed, covered by a mosquito net, sat adjacent to his desk and a wooden tea table.