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(Update 3/15) 6+ confirmed coronavirus cases found at Samsung, LG Display & SK Hynix factories

Edit 1 (3/6 7PM): Added information on coronavirus within Samsung factory workers

 

Edit 2 (3/9 7PM) Added information on quarantine issues in Vietnam with Samsung Display workers, reformatted post

 

Edit 3 (3/15 7PM) Added information on SK Hynix confirmed case

 

This is going to be a bit long, so TLDR: 6+ workers have been confirmed to have COVID-19 at Samsung's Gumi factory, and confirmed cases have popped up in other Korean tech corporations too, including SK Hynix and LG Display.

 

English article (Yonhap News Agency)

http://yna.kr/AEN20200306008851320

 

A short article explaining most of the situation:

Quote

SEOUL, March 6 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday it will temporarily move some of its smartphone production to Vietnam, after shutting down a local factory following a positive coronavirus test there.

Samsung shut down the factory in the southeastern city of Gumi after a worker tested positive for the new coronavirus. Samsung said the plant will be closed through Saturday, while the floor where the employee worked will be shuttered through Sunday.

Samsung's premium smartphones, Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 10, were being produced entirely in Gumi. Its plant in Vietnam will put out up to 200,000 smartphones a month. They will be shipped to South Korea beginning late this month.

The world's largest smartphone maker has so far reported six virus-infected workers at its production sites in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, only about 50 kilometers north of Daegu, the epicenter of South Korea's virus outbreak.

In recent weeks, Samsung had to stop smartphone production lines in the city for days several times after its workers have tested positive for COVID-19.

Samsung also reported a virus-infected worker at its foundry factory in Yongin, about 50 kilometers south of Seoul, last week but said its chip production has not been affected.

 

(Local sources)

http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/economy/marketing/930485.html [The Hankyoreh | 한겨레]

https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR20200301072900003?input=1195m [Yonhap News Agency | 연합뉴스]

https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR20200229030100003?input=1195m [Yonhap News Agency | 연합뉴스]

https://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=101&oid=022&aid=0003443147 [Segye Ilbo | 세계일보 via Naver News]

http://www.newsis.com/view/?id=NISX20200224_0000930184&cID=13001&pID=13000 [Newsis | 뉴시스]

https://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=shm&sid1=101&oid=138&aid=0002083575 [Digital Times | 디지털타임즈]

https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20200313005700320?section=economy/industy [Yonhap News Agency | 연합뉴스] (English Article)

https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR20200315039800003?section=industry/all [Yonhap News Agency | 연합뉴스]

 

1) An employee of Samsung Electronics (wireless device dept) who works at Samsung Electronic's 2nd factory in Gumi, South Korea (구미 2사업장) was diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

The Gumi 2nd factory is used by Samsung's wireless device department, in charge of development of wireless devices such as mobile phones. Gumi's 2nd facory is where the majority of Samsung's phone manufacturing takes place.

The Gumi facility is set to close by 10PM 3/1 (KST) and the floor that the employee worked at will close by 10AM march 3rd, and disinfection/cleaning will take place.

A samsung associate has said that there will be a temporary closing in the weekend, and there will be no issues with production once the factory restarts next week.

 

2) Today, a worker at a bank in LG Display's Gumi factory (구미사업장)  was also diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

LG has said that they are working with local authorities and the Ministry of Health to close off some areas for three days and is doing disinfection/cleaning. Today (3/1 KST) LG Display closed off their welfare area (basically a place in the factory with banks & resturants for workers), and closed off a module factory and is doing disinfection. They are set to reopen on the 3rd. Gumi factory makes, well, displays.

 

3) A worker at LG Innotech (a LG subsidiary that makes electronic parts like LEDs)'s factory in Gumi 1A factory (구미 1A 공장) was also confirmed to have COVID-19. The entire facility was closed and they are performing disinfection and cleaning on site. The company is planning to reopen on the 3rd after consulting the government and if deemed safe.

 

4) A worker at a cafeteria in Samsung Electronics Giheung factory (기흥사업장) was confirmed with the coronavirus. The worker is not employeed by Samsung, but a partner company that runs the cafeteria. The cafeteria has been closed off. Giheung factory makes semiconductors.

 

5) [Added 3/15] A confirmed case at SK Hynix Icheon factory. The worker and the family had gone into self quarantine last weekend (7,8) after a family memebr had shown symptoms. He was diagnose d with COVID-19 on the 13th. A SK Hynix source has said that the worker has followed the company's self quarantine policy, and has prevented any further infections, and that the worker did not work at the production line so no production delays have happened. The government has not done any disinfection/quarnatine too.

 

Also: 

 

- On February 22nd, a worker at Samsung's Gumi factory was confirmed to have COVID-19. Samsung closed the facility till the 24th and cleaned the area.

- on February 29th, a second worker at Samsung's Gumi 1st factory (구미 1사업장) tested positive.

- On February 24th, LG Electronics' Incheon factory laboratory has been closed off, due to a worker's kindergarten daughter in Daegu being diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

- No date specified, but SK Hynix closed their education facility and put 8000 workers on self-imposed quarantine at Icheon campus after a new worker was found to be in close contact with a COVID-19 patient.

Not strictly related to tech, but there has been confirmed cases at Hyundai's Ulsan factory too.

 

With these confirmed cases, the tech manufacturing sector in Korea has been put on high alert. 

 

Samsung Electronics has sent emergency messages to all workers and have made all workers wear masks when entering a factory or going on elevators and work buses. Group education (of workers) have been cancelled and workers have been required to wear masks when in conferences.

LG Electronics has forbidden all outside visitors has recommended employees to restrict travel between factories. LG Display and LG Innotech has also forbidden residents of the Daegu and Cheongdo area from entering their facilities.

SK Siltron, a SK subsidiary that focuses on manufacturing of silicon wafers that has its HQ in Gumi, has restricted access to the company and has placed heat cameras on all entrances to the facility to check temperature of all employees entering the facility.

Hyundai, LS and many other non-tech related manufacturers have also been put on high alert too.

 

ADDED 3/9: Quarantine issues with Samsung Display and Vietnamese government

According to industry personnel on the 9th, Samsung Display was supposed to send 700 employees & equipment employees to Samsung D's Vietnam factory, but however Vietnam had decided to quarantine people entering the country from Korea for 14 days, thereby causing problems to factory operation.

The factory in question is where thye flexible OLED module production line is. Samsung Display sent 700 employees to Vietnam for supply of smartphone panels for Samsung Electronics, Apple, Huawei in the second half of the year. If these personnel are not there in time, there can be manufacturing problems for major smartphone manufacturers.

Samsung Display has asked the local government to allow the employees to arrive on time, since two weeks of postponing production line operation massively impacts the company. According to Vietnam media, Park No-hwan, South Korean ambassador to Vietnam, has also said that (rough translation) "there will be massive damage if Samsung Display technicians go through the 14 day quarantine" and that "we have requested that the local government do not impose a quarantine period for Samsung Display workers."

This incident and Samsung Electronics' smartphone production is not related. Although the OLED module production line for the Galaxy S20 series is completed, this can impact models that are to be released in the second half.

 

Update: Samsung Display workers have been exempted from Vietnam's mandatory quarantine.

 

Thoughts: So far it's too early to tell, but I wouldn't be surprised if the virus starts interfering a lot with semiconductor/display/phone production. South Korea makes ~50% of the world's 3D NAND and ~70% of the world's DRAM so interference in production can mean that DRAM supplies & OLED display supplies take a big hit, raising prices. The virus isn't showing signs of stopping anytime soon, so this very well may cause problems in the future. It's already causing problems now. We'll have to wait and see.

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On 3/1/2020 at 5:22 PM, SlimyPython said:

Dont we all just love viruses

/s

Considering they can be hijacked for gene therapy (although usually in lab rats), I'm rather fond of them even though I despise most viruses and wish we had far better ways of destroying them. (Yes I'm giving a serious answer to a sarcastic question)

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This is so bizarre and threatening at the same time. I really don't know if this is just to de-market Samsung's products. Something tells me that trade in the coming months is going to be thrown out of wack, as most manufacturing of the world is done in south-Asia.

~Engineer.AI

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44 minutes ago, Engineer.AI said:

most manufacturing of the world is done in south-Asia.

But this virus is not limited to south Asia, there are many infected in Italy, Iran, Germany, France and Spain and unless we get a month without new infections, I believe it'll continue spreading. From what I read about the US, it isn't going to be in a great situation either. At some point we might be forced to apply countermeasures that will have great impact on everything, just what China's doing.

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What is really bugging me is the fact everyone is calling the virus either coronavirus or Covid19, both of which are incorrect.

 

Coronavirus is actually the species, it's a common term used across multiple virus.

 

Covid19 is the name of the disease caused by the Virus, not the virus itself (in the same way the HIV Virus causes AIDs).

 

The virus is actually called SARS-COV2.

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9 minutes ago, Loote said:

But this virus is not limited to south Asia, there are many infected in Italy, Iran, Germany, France and Spain and unless we get a month without new infections, I believe it'll continue spreading. From what I read about the US, it isn't going to be in a great situation either. At some point we might be forced to apply countermeasures that will have great impact on everything, just what China's doing.

South Korea has been REALLY hit hard too.

 

Here in the UK they had a press conference yesterday and tbf I was quite impressed by the honesty, it was rare for a prime minister to be so truthful and candid.

 

They're expecting a widespread infection of upto 80% of the country. Cases will continue to increase over the coming weeks, the peak infection is expected in about 6 weeks with upto 20% of the country being off work simultaneously during the peak infection period. They also reckon the 2% mortality rate in other places should drop to around 1% as the NHS means care is guaranteed to anyone who gets sick.

 

They we're careful to emphasise, these are only predictions (made by some of Europe's top experts though) and that while it's now too late to stop a widespread infection we could still drastically reduce the infection rate by having good hygiene practices.

 

Pretty scary stuff tbh.

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3 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

South Korea has been REALLY hit hard too.

 

Here in the UK they had a press conference yesterday and tbf I was quite impressed by the honesty, it was rare for a prime minister to be so truthful and candid.

 

They're expecting a widespread infection of upto 80% of the country. Cases will continue to increase over the coming weeks, the peak infection is expected in about 6 weeks with upto 20% of the country being off work simultaneously during the peak infection period. They also reckon the 2% mortality rate in other places should drop to around 1% as the NHS means care is guaranteed to anyone who gets sick.

 

They we're careful to emphasise, these are only predictions (made by some of Europe's top experts though) and that while it's now too late to stop a widespread infection we could still drastically reduce the infection rate by having good hygiene practices.

 

Pretty scary stuff tbh.

I was reading about it, and they said that any form of possible medication can take 6 months - 2 YEARS to develop. In another news, I saw that nearly 60% of the world's population is expected to contract it at some point. SCARY stuff, man!

Engineer.AI

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49 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

South Korea has been REALLY hit hard too.

 

Here in the UK they had a press conference yesterday and tbf I was quite impressed by the honesty, it was rare for a prime minister to be so truthful and candid.

 

They're expecting a widespread infection of upto 80% of the country. Cases will continue to increase over the coming weeks, the peak infection is expected in about 6 weeks with upto 20% of the country being off work simultaneously during the peak infection period. They also reckon the 2% mortality rate in other places should drop to around 1% as the NHS means care is guaranteed to anyone who gets sick.

 

They we're careful to emphasise, these are only predictions (made by some of Europe's top experts though) and that while it's now too late to stop a widespread infection we could still drastically reduce the infection rate by having good hygiene practices.

 

Pretty scary stuff tbh.

It's also worth saying that even if you expect 80% of the population to get the virus it's still really important to minimize the speed of spread as much as possible, which is pretty much what they are doing and talking about. 20% of the population is actually a pretty large proportion, certainly hope it doesn't get that high.

 

At work we are doing a lot of preparation to allow everyone to work from home if we have to or decide to close the campuses. It's situations like this where it sucks to be in the education sector, you're basically at the same risk profile as many health workers.

 

The other thing is that students stay in hostels on campus, that makes isolation very hard when many of the living services are shared/communal.

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53 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

Here in the UK they had a press conference yesterday and tbf I was quite impressed by the honesty, it was rare for a prime minister to be so truthful and candid.

The first and only time for Boris Johnson.

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1 hour ago, Master Disaster said:

What is really bugging me is the fact everyone is calling the virus either coronavirus or Covid19, both of which are incorrect.

 

Coronavirus is actually the species, it's a common term used across multiple virus.

 

Covid19 is the name of the disease caused by the Virus, not the virus itself (in the same way the HIV Virus causes AIDs).

 

The virus is actually called SARS-COV2.

Off to pedants corner with you.?

 

Quote

From a risk communications perspective, using the name SARS can have unintended consequences in terms of creating unnecessary fear for some populations, especially in Asia which was worst affected by the SARS outbreak in 2003. 

For that reason and others, WHO has begun referring to the virus as “the virus responsible for COVID-19” or “the COVID-19 virus” when communicating with the public.  Neither of these designations are intended as replacements for the official name of the virus as agreed by the ICTV.

 

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Do we have any news about this causing delays for the Galaxy S20 release? I had it preordered at bestbuy for the bonus items and just got an email last night saying my order will be delayed 2-3 weeks "due to overwhelming popularity".....yesterday was supposed to be the shipping date with the 6th being the release date.

 

I can't find any news on it at all yet, but its still early morning in north america.

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49 minutes ago, leadeater said:

It's also worth saying that even if you expect 80% of the population to get the virus it's still really important to minimize the speed of spread as much as possible, which is pretty much what they are doing and talking about. 20% of the population is actually a pretty large proportion, certainly hope it doesn't get that high.

 

At work we are doing a lot of preparation to allow everyone to work from home if we have to or decide to close the campuses. It's situations like this where it sucks to be in the education sector, you're basically at the same risk profile as many health workers.

 

The other thing is that students stay in hostels on campus, that makes isolation very hard when many of the living services are shared/communal.

What sucks even more is the younger you are the less sick you get meaning babies and toddlers show barely any symptoms, children get a pretty mild cold and young adults get a severe cold (mostly) so while your students all barely get sick at all the teachers end up in bed for weeks with the flu.

 

21 minutes ago, Phill104 said:

Off to pedants corner with you.?

I understand the reasoning behind that in Asia but we're not in Asia and I swear, some pretty large news organisations genuinely think the virus is called Covid19. It's just a general pet peeve of mine, you should call a shovel a shovel.

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10 hours ago, Master Disaster said:

you should call a shovel a scoop.

Fixed it

yeet!

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Why hasn't this gone to be a bigger news than it currently is? A lot of retailers are still selling their wares without any supervision. S.Korea/ Samsung could Engineer AI to develop a resistant vaccine against the coronavirus, given their massive strides in the field of Machine Learning.

 

Engineer.AI

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On 3/4/2020 at 4:21 AM, Master Disaster said:

What is really bugging me is the fact everyone is calling the virus either coronavirus or Covid19, both of which are incorrect.

 

Coronavirus is actually the species, it's a common term used across multiple virus.

 

Covid19 is the name of the disease caused by the Virus, not the virus itself (in the same way the HIV Virus causes AIDs).

 

The virus is actually called SARS-COV2.

While you're absolutely right, I'm already dealing with dozens of customers a day who aren't even fully aware of what's going on, let alone the longer term ramifications of it. You star throwing acronyms at them and they're going to pay even less attention. Not to mention the fact that I already deal with people still pulling things like "the is going to be the same as SARS" or "the flu kills more people". 

 

Down the road it'll be important to use the proper name to distinguish it from all the similar viruses in the category, but right now if you say "coronavirus", everyone knows what you're referring to. No need to start confusing the average person this early into the outbreak. 

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On 3/4/2020 at 4:12 AM, Loote said:

But this virus is not limited to south Asia, there are many infected in Italy, Iran, Germany, France and Spain and unless we get a month without new infections, I believe it'll continue spreading. From what I read about the US, it isn't going to be in a great situation either. At some point we might be forced to apply countermeasures that will have great impact on everything, just what China's doing.

What? I was looking at the amount of confirmed cases and there were hardly any and most of them were heavily localized too. None near my state so I am not too worried yet. 

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6 hours ago, Unixsystem said:

While you're absolutely right, I'm already dealing with dozens of customers a day who aren't even fully aware of what's going on, let alone the longer term ramifications of it. You star throwing acronyms at them and they're going to pay even less attention. Not to mention the fact that I already deal with people still pulling things like "the is going to be the same as SARS" or "the flu kills more people". 

 

Down the road it'll be important to use the proper name to distinguish it from all the similar viruses in the category, but right now if you say "coronavirus", everyone knows what you're referring to. No need to start confusing the average person this early into the outbreak. 

Well worded, man. Irrespective of what the nomenclature turned out to be, people will level with you immediately, when you say "coronavirus", instead of anything else.

 

3 hours ago, Brooksie359 said:

What? I was looking at the amount of confirmed cases and there were hardly any and most of them were heavily localized too. None near my state so I am not too worried yet. 

Buddy, my country practically borders China, and we've had our first case three months into the outbreak. It's not that it is localized (if it is, then kudos to the quarantine measures), it's that the everyone is connected to everyone else through globalization in one way, or another. it's only a matter of time before the undetected start innocently traveling to other locations, if left unchecked.
NOTE: There are even cases, like in the USA, where the patient insists he did not interact with an infected. It's not about if your locale has it or not, but how prepared they are to combat the disease when it comes face-2-face.

~Engineer.AI

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7 hours ago, Engineer.AI said:

Well worded, man. Irrespective of what the nomenclature turned out to be, people will level with you immediately, when you say "coronavirus", instead of anything else.

 

Buddy, my country practically borders China, and we've had our first case three months into the outbreak. It's not that it is localized (if it is, then kudos to the quarantine measures), it's that the everyone is connected to everyone else through globalization in one way, or another. it's only a matter of time before the undetected start innocently traveling to other locations, if left unchecked.
NOTE: There are even cases, like in the USA, where the patient insists he did not interact with an infected. It's not about if your locale has it or not, but how prepared they are to combat the disease when it comes face-2-face.

~Engineer.AI

Yeah nobody comes to travel to my state so highly doubt that it will come to where I am. 

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On 3/4/2020 at 5:21 AM, Master Disaster said:

What is really bugging me is the fact everyone is calling the virus either coronavirus or Covid19, both of which are incorrect.

 

Coronavirus is actually the species, it's a common term used across multiple virus.

 

Covid19 is the name of the disease caused by the Virus, not the virus itself (in the same way the HIV Virus causes AIDs).

 

The virus is actually called SARS-COV2.

As a fellow scientist, I greatly appreciate your value for the details.  However, if we called it SARS-COV2, the general public will think that the old SARS virus is back, which sends the wrong message.

 

You have just taught an interesting class while also greatly overestimating the intelligence of an average human.  Congratulations! :P 

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On 3/6/2020 at 7:02 PM, Brooksie359 said:

Yeah nobody comes to travel to my state so highly doubt that it will come to where I am. 

Let's hope that is the case. Over here, we're still reeling in from a travesty rn.

Engineer.AI

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On 3/9/2020 at 2:03 AM, Engineer.AI said:

Let's hope that is the case. Over here, we're still reeling in from a travesty rn.

Only 2 cases so far in the entire state and those two have been quarantined straight away. Also one is in the middle of nowhere with a super small population of people. 

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Make sure to stock up on toilet paper

This post is brought to you by water

 

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7 minutes ago, RorzNZ said:

Make sure to stock up on toilet paper

Its painkillers and hand sanitizer here in the UK, oh and dried pasta (which makes no sense since if you're sick with a flu the last thing you want to eat is pasta ?).

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