How southern factories keep production running amid Covid-19 resurgence

By Le Tuyet   August 4, 2021 | 08:43 pm GMT+7
How southern factories keep production running amid Covid-19 resurgence
Workers label chemical products at a factory of Earth Corporation Vietnam in the southern province of Binh Duong. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong.
Over 3,000 factories in the southern province of Binh Duong that are imposing on-site manufacturing have achieved initial success in keeping its workers safe from Covid-19.

Chemicals producer Earth Corporation Vietnam in the last 45 days has been able to keep manufacturing uninterrupted by letting its 180 workers stay on-site.

One key factor is to impose strict isolation from the outside world, said Phan Thi Phuong Linh, head of human resources.

Delivery truck drivers are required to take photos of their documents, including negative Covid-19 test results, and send them to security personnel.

Company staff will then come out, sign necessary documents and place them in a specified area outside the factory for drivers to pick up to ensure no direct contact.

All materials will be disinfected and stored elsewhere for 48 hours before being moved to the manufacturing base.

Another measure the company has employed is supplying their workers with personal-care products to stop them from going outside. Tea and coffee are also provided for this purpose.

"If we do not do so, workers will find ways to buy from vendors through the fence, which could be a source of contagion," Linh said.

A worker who chooses to stay at the factory is rewarded with VND5.5 million ($239), but that could be taken away if someone tries to violate protocols and come in contact with people from outside.

If somebody is forced to go out, for example for a medical checkup, he or she will need to test Covid-19 negative upon return and must stay seven days at a quarantine area within the factory.

"Operating costs triple when we impose these measures but this is what the company has to accept in order to ensure safety," Linh said, adding that even though some drivers had tested Covid-19 positive, no one in the company so far has been infected.

Southern Rubber Industry JSC (Casumina) has been operating safely after a month of imposing on-site manufacturing in five factories in Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ho Chi Minh City.

The company at the end of June started setting up tents for over 1,200 workers. Drivers and cooks at high risk of contagion are kept in a separate area and are Covid-19 tested twice a week.

The company also set up a "slide system" to receive and send out deliveries.

A slide system used to ensure contactless delivery in a factory of Casumina in the southern province of Binh Duong. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong.

A slide system used to ensure contactless delivery in a factory of Casumina in the southern province of Binh Duong. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong.

Workers are compensated VND150,000 a day during this time.

With these measures the company managed to keep 80 percent of production going, which keeps both customers and workers secured.

"If we are forced to close, the company would lose VND30 billion a month and even face penalties for delays in handing over goods to customers," said Pham Hong Phu, CEO of Casumina.

Data on Binh Duong indicate 3,000 companies are imposing on-site manufacturing, which accounts for 90 percent of the total that had registered to do so.

The remaining companies have stopped operating due to troubles in sourcing materials, fluctuating demand and inability to convince workers to stay, said deputy chairman of the province Duong Mai Hung Dung.

Binh Duong has over 1.2 million workers in 29 industrial parks and 12 industrial clusters. The province has recorded over 18,300 Covid-19 patients in the latest wave, second only to HCMC in the south.

 
 
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