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World News | 30-40% of workforce at Japanese firms in China Covid-positive, production plummets: report

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Beijing [China]Dec 27 (ANI): Amid a surge in coronavirus cases, the Japanese embassy in Beijing said many employees of Japanese companies operating in China had contracted COVID-19 and were asked to work from home, NHK World reported.

Factories in China are also operating at lower capacity. Yoshikawa Akinobu, head of the Japan External Trade Organization’s Qingdao office, told NHK that COVID-19 began to spread rapidly around December 16.

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At some Japanese companies, 30% to 40% of employees have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Yoshikawa. Production capacity here has been cut by almost half. However, the companies continued to struggle to keep their employees running, NHK World reported.

Health authorities in Qingdao, China’s Shandong province, estimated on Friday that COVID-19 cases were increasing by 490,000 to 530,000 a day. New COVID-19 cases across the country reached 2,637 on Sunday, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read also | COVID-19 outbreak in China: Coronavirus cases surge in Sichuan province.

The center further said that according to NHK World, the number of confirmed cases in Zhejiang province was 19, which was much lower than the 1 million daily new cases reported by the province’s health department the day before. Also, the number of COVID-19 cases in Shandong province is 21.

The report said there was a discrepancy between the center’s figures and the daily number of cases reported by Qingdao’s health department on Friday.

The Japanese embassy in Beijing said some Japanese companies reported that their employees were returning to offices as coronavirus infections in Beijing may have peaked, NHK World reported.

Meanwhile, Beijing will start distributing Pfizer’s Covid-19 drug Paxlovid to community health centers within the next few days, CNN reported on Monday, citing state media. The report comes as the city grapples with an unprecedented wave of infections that has overwhelmed hospitals and stripped pharmacy shelves.

According to CNN, after receiving training, community doctors will dispense the drug to COVID-19 patients and provide information on how to use the drug. Notably, Paxlovid remains the only foreign drug approved by Chinese regulators to treat COVID-19 patients. However, access to medicines remains a challenging process.

CNN quoted a staff member of the local community health service center in Xicheng District, Beijing, as saying: “We have received an official notification, but it is not yet clear when the medicine will arrive.” (Ani)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)



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