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Homeland Security

Migrant workers in Miaoli COVID clusters to be quarantined

ROC Central News Agency

06/06/2021 05:07 PM

Taipei, June 6 (CNA) Miaoli-based migrant workers at three tech companies that have reported COVID-19 cluster infections have been ordered to be quarantined with pay, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Sunday.

The quarantine was introduced to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Miaoli, after 206 cases were identified in three cluster infections at factories of different companies in the county, said the CECC chief, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), at a press conference.

Of the 206 cases, 180 involved migrant workers. Because of that high percentage, and migrants considered at high risk of contracting the disease will be sent to government quarantine centers, while others will be quarantined where they live, Chen said.

All migrant workers who are quarantined are still entitled to their pay, Chen said, but he did not specify the length of the quarantine period, which usually is 14 days.

The Taiwanese employees of those companies, except those who are confirmed patients, and their contacts who have entered quarantine, do not have to be isolated but should closely monitor their health, he said.

The worst hit of the three companies -- King Yuan Electronics Co., an integrated circuit packaging and testing service provider -- suspended operations at its headquarters in Hsinchu and factories across Miaoli on Friday to test all of its employees.

But when work resumes, the quarantining of migrants could have a sizable impact on its production given that 27 percent of its workforce consists of foreign workers, according to local media.

The other two companies, each with 12 confirmed cases as of Sunday, are Greatek Electronics Inc. and Accton Technology Corp.

Their operations in Miaoli can resume at a reduced capacity on the condition that they put in place a disease prevention plan and pass an inspection by the Industrial Development Bureau and doctors from the Centers for Disease Control, according to the CECC.

It was not clear how dependent the production of those two companies is on migrant workers.

The number of cases in the clusters are expected to rise further, after the Miaoli County government reported on Sunday morning that the ongoing rapid tests of these companies' employees returned 117 positive results.

The 117 people have been placed in quarantine, while waiting for results of their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which will confirm whether they have the disease.

(By Chen Chieh-ling, Chiang Hui-chun and Kay Liu)

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