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Hon Hai testing employees for COVID-19 as a precaution

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Photo courtesy of Hon Hai

Taipei, June 9 (CNA) Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., known globally as Foxconn, became the first business in New Taipei to screen employees for COVID-19 when it launched a rapid screening program at its headquarters Wednesday.

The program will initially be carried out at Hon Hai's headquarters in Tucheng District and target hundreds of employees responsible for manufacturing, R&D and security as well as others who do not work from home, the company said.

According to the New Taipei City government, Hon Hai aims to have around 500 employees at the headquarters tested during a four-week span.

The rapid testing will be conducted routinely and be expanded to Hon Hai's other places of business in Tucheng and across the country depending on the outbreak's spread around the island, the company said.

It will adjust its disease prevention measures on a rolling basis, adding that the government's current COVID-19 controls have not greatly affected its operations, the company said.

Hon Hai is the first company in New Taipei to have launched a rapid testing program for its employees after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) allowed businesses to do so last week, the city's Economic Development Department said in a statement Wednesday.

According to the CECC, a company that wishes to offer COVID-19 rapid tests to its employees must apply to the local government, which will help arrange medical workers to conduct tests at the company's workplace.

A well-ventilated space should be used for the testing site and separate rooms arranged as temporary quarantine sites where those who test positive for the virus can isolate themselves until their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results come back, according to the city government.

The cost of the rapid COVID-19 screening should be borne by the company, the city government said.

The economic development department said it has collaborated with 13 medical facilities and 13 test kit providers to help companies launch COVID-19 screening programs for their workers.

New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih, who visited Hon Hai's headquarters on Wednesday, encouraged companies with 100 or more employees to provide rapid tests for their employees as a precaution.

Some 16.83 percent of COVID-19 cases reported in the city involved people who were most likely infected at their workplaces, Hou said, citing city government data.

There are 1,073 companies in New Taipei that employ at least 100 workers, according to the city.

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