275 workers at HCMC export processing zone contract Covid, 29 firms to be closed

By Huu Cong   July 13, 2021 | 09:51 am GMT+7
275 workers at HCMC export processing zone contract Covid, 29 firms to be closed
The gate of Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone is not crowded as usual after working hours as many companies there have halted operations due to Covid linkage, July 12, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dat.
The Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone in HCMC has ordered 29 companies to temporarily shut down after 275 of their workers tested positive for Covid-19.

The infections at the zone in District 7 were found through the city’s mass test campaign to screen the community, Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy director of city Department of Health, said at a meeting Monday.

"Given the accuracy of the rapid test, these cases can now be considered Covid-19 patients," he said, indicating there would be no need to wait for the real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results to take further precautions at the zone.

District chairman Hoang Minh Tuan Anh on Monday called on the HCMC Export Processing Zone and Industrial Park Authority (HEPZA) and the Tan Thuan EPZ to lock down part of the zone and suspend the operations of the 29 companies with infected workers.

HEPZA has agreed.

But health authorities want the District 7 administration to consider shutting the entire zone since the cluster there could grow bigger, Nguyen Hong Tam, deputy director of the city Center for Disease Control, said.

The EPZ is home to 250 companies with around 60,000 workers.

On July 9 two companies with almost 2,000 employees decided to close down for 15 days to help contain the Covid spread.

HCMC has 320,000 workers in export processing zones and a high-tech park and almost 1.3 million in 17 industrial zones.

According to the HCMC Federation of Labor, by July 7 more than 1,800 of these workers had been diagnosed with Covid in the new wave that began in late April.

The city has for weeks been the worst hit locality in the nation, with community infections crossing 15,000 by Tuesday morning.

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