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Coronavirus Resurgence Hits Samsung, LG Facilities

Fresh COVID-19 cases are sparking concerns in South Korea’s electronics industry, with employees at Samsung and LG manufacturing and R&D plants testing positive for the disease.

Two workers on Samsung’s 16 and 17 chip fabrication lines at Hwaseong, Gyeonggi province (pictured), were reported as COVID patients last week, but had worn masks and followed protective guidelines; the lines continued to operate normally over the weekend, though the relevant facilities have been disinfected.

According to one Samsung official, trade ministry and health guidelines have found risk of virus spread in cleanrooms to be low; the company set up an on-site COVID-19 testing centre in the Hwaseong plant earlier this month.

Samsung has also seen a COVID case at its new quantum dot display factory in Asan in South Chungcheong Province, which closed part of the plant early but did not affect the main display line, and at its Giheung R&D centre for LED technology in Gyeunggi province.

The world’s largest semiconductor supplier is not the only South Korean tech manufacturer to be affected, with cases also reported at LG’s Gasan and Seocho R&D facilities in Seoul. Though disruptions have so far been minimal, full plant closures due to COVID-19 could affect global semiconductor supply.

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