Who knows? More to the point, who will give them the green light to resume operations?
From “China’s Shenzhen denies blocking Apple supplier Foxconn from resuming production,” which moved over the Reuters newswire Sunday morning:
Local Chinese authorities have not blocked Apple supplier Foxconn from resuming production amid a coronavirus outbreak, they said in a statement on Sunday, denying an earlier report in the Nikkei Business Daily.
The Nikkei, citing four people familiar with the matter, said here on Saturday that public health experts had carried out inspections at Foxconn’s factories and told the company that there was a “high risk of coronavirus infection” at the facilities, making them unsuitable for a production restart.
Shenzhen’s Longhua district, where Foxconn’s largest factory is located, said in a statement on its official WeChat account on Sunday that those reports were untrue and that it was still conducting checks, adding that the company would restart production once inspections were completed…
Foxconn could see a “big” production impact and shipments to customers including Apple face disruption if the Chinese factory halt extends into a second week, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters earlier this week.
My take: The safety procedures proposed for Foxconn’s iPhone assembly lines—mandatory face masks, periodic temperature checks and special dining procedures—seem necessary but not necessarily sufficient to protect thousands of assemblers working shoulder to shoulder in a confined space during a virus outbreak.