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TSMC, Nanya, Wistron confirm COVID infections among Taiwanese employees

Seven local financial institutions report employee infections, highly contagious COVID variant circulating

(TSMC photo)

(TSMC photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) employee has tested positive for COVID-19, one of several infections reported by Taiwanese manufacturers, including DRAM chipmaker Nanya Technology Corp, iPhone assembler Wistron Corp., and information technology service provider Systex.

The company said the employee was home quarantined on Sunday (May 16) following exposure to a confirmed case over the weekend, before learning the test result. A dozen employees in close contact with the infected individual are undergoing 14-day home quarantine, but it will not affect operations, the company statement read.

It is not the company's first coronavirus case. In early April, a TSMC employee recovered from the infection after treatment at a hospital, and 30 employees who had come into contact with the individual all tested negative for the virus.

TSMC is the world's leading semiconductor foundry, with over 50 percent of the global market. It is known for manufacturing chips for customers such as Apple, Qualcomm, HiSilicon, and Nvidia.

DRAM chipmaker Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) confirmed on Friday (May 21) that an employee contracted the virus from family members and pandemic prevention measures were implemented to curb the spread of infections.

Information technology service provider Systex (精誠科技) stated a day earlier that an employee had been infected, though the symptoms were mild. Ten other staff members in close contact with the individual are undergoing home quarantine before receiving their test results. The company has twice disinfected the facility and office since then.

On May 17, Taiwan electronics manufacturer Pegatron (和碩) confirmed that an employee at its headquarters in Taipei's Beitou District had tested positive for the virus following a regular health check-up at a local hospital. However, the company said later in the week the employee's RNA test result was negative — even so, the rigid rules for COVID-19 prevention remained in place.

Wistron Corp. (緯創), a Taiwan assembler for Apple, said that an employee working at its Xizhi office in New Taipei City had been infected and all staff members working on the same floor had worked from home since last week, with no expected impact on its business.

In response to the recent wave of local cases, many Taiwan technology companies introduced home working from May 15, including the leading mobile chipmaker MediaTek. Flexible working hours and employees going into the office at different times have also been introduced to minimize exposure, after taking on board Central Epidemic Command Center advice.

A highly contagious variant of COVID-19 first identified in Britain is now circulating around Taiwan, leading to a triple-digit increase of local cases for the eighth day. In addition to the technology companies, seven local financial institutions have reported infections among employees as of May 21, including Cathay Financial Holdings, Fubon Financial Holdings, Taiwan Corporative Holdings, Entie Bank, Bank SinoPac, China Life, and Capital Securities, UDN reported.