Until recently it appeared that Samsung would be much less affected by the Coronavirus outbreak than other smartphone manufacturers such as Apple who have their factories in China, due to much of its production taking place in Korea, India and Vietnam.
Disease, however, knows no borders, and a case of Coronavirus has now been confirmed at Samsung’s smartphone factory in Gumi, leading to the entire facility being shut down, Reuters reports.
“The company has placed colleagues who came in contact with the infected employee in self-quarantine and taken steps to have them tested for possible infection,” Samsung said in a news release.
The factory mainly makes high-end smartphones for the local market but is also responsible for producing Samsung’s new Galaxy Z Flip handset, reports local publication Hankyung.
There are currently 433 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in South Korea, double an earlier released number.
The factory will remain shut until Monday, and workers who work in the same area have been asked to self-quarantine. The specific work floor has also been shut and Samsung is currently sterilizing it. When workers return next week Samsung will recommend they wear masks and avoid domestic travel and video conference instead.
Analysts for the IDC notes that the impact of the virus outbreak on our smart device ecosystem is being largely underestimated.
Device manufacturing represents a complex and ever-evolving ecosystem. Some are placing too much stock in factories coming back online. The ramp to capacity will take time, and also component supplies, warehousing, and logistics will all be hampered by poor worker mobility. 2/4
— Tom Mainelli (@TomMainelli) February 21, 2020
For now, though the focus should be on health and wellbeing rather than the economic impact of mitigation efforts.