South Korea's Hynix says 800 workers in self-quarantine after coronavirus contact

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The streets of South Korea's fourth-largest city, Daegu, were abandoned on Thursday, with residents holed up indoors after dozens of people caught the coronavirus in what the authorities described as a "super-spreading event" at a church.
South Korean health officials spraying disinfectant in front of the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, as about 40 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed after they attended same church services, on Feb 20, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix said on Thursday (Feb 20) that 800 of its workers had quarantined themselves as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but its production in the city of Icheon had not been affected.

The move came after one trainee had close contact with a virus patient in the south-eastern city of Daegu, the epicentre of an outbreak in South Korea.

A surge in confirmed cases linked to a local church in Daegu this week sparked fears of wider transmission.

The 800 include 280 trainees, who have not yet started working on production lines, and accounts for a fraction of its workforce of 18,000 people in Incheon, a spokeswoman said.

SK Hynix, the world's No 2 memory chipmaker which counts Apple and Huawei among its customers, said another trainee also had symptoms of pneumonia but tested negative for the virus. The trainee will undergo a second test.

SK Hynix has closed its training centre and hospital in Icheon, south-east of Seoul.

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