Shenzhou International, a major garment processing plant supplying global sports and leisure brands in Ningbo, east China’s Zhejiang Province, has been listed as a medium-risk area as workers at the company were confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus.
After seven cases were reported in Shenzhou International on Saturday, three more cases were detected in Ningbo on Sunday, local health authorities said at a press conference.
Local health authorities said the cases reported are very local in Shenzhou International, and no additional cases have been detected in other parts of Zhejiang so far.
Health authorities said Saturday that genome sequencing of the first case found in Beilun, Ningbo showed that the virus strain is very similar to the delta variant found in Vietnam, but different from the evolutionary branch of the delta variant found in earlier cases in Zhejiang. Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, and Xishuangbana Dai Autonomous Region in southwest China’s Yunnan Province.
Regarding the newly discovered cases, Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, one of the world’s busiest shipping hubs, said it has entered the state of emergency and will continue normal operations in order to ensure the logistics of foreign trade goods and the stability of supply chains.
“At present, production in every area of the port is stable and ships arriving at the port are operating normally,” the port said in a statement.
Ningbo, which is about 3,000 to 4,000 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam by air and one of the richest cities in China, experienced an outbreak of the coronavirus at the end of 2021. Local authorities said the new cases were not related to the previous outbreak. .
Workers are seen at a factory of Shenzhou International Group Holdings Limited in Ningbo, east China’s Zhejiang Province. File photo: Xinhua
The employer of the seven workers, Shenzhou International Group Holdings, is a garment and fabric processor and supplies global sports and leisure brands including NIKE, Adidas, Puma and Uniqlo.
The company owns clothing factories in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. According to textile information provider webtex.cn, factories in Vietnam and Cambodia contribute about 40 percent of the company’s apparel production capacity.
With more than 90,000 employees worldwide, Shenzhou International produces more than 500 million pieces of knitwear and has a textile output of about 200,000 tons per year, the company’s website said.
Chen Jing, deputy head of the Institute for Technology and Strategy Research, told the Global Times on Sunday that the coronavirus cases found in Shenzhou International would not have a significant impact on China’s garment industry.
“China’s entire garment industry is not dependent on one company or a particular region. Previous experience has also shown that the country is usually able to contain an outbreak of the virus within one month. The Zhenhai district of Ningbo, another textile hub, has already contained the virus.” Chen said, noting that the company’s share of the country’s apparel market is not large.
Shenzhou International on Sunday pledged to give a special bonus of 250-500 yuan (39-78 US dollars) to employees who support anti-epidemic measures, according to a letter the company issued to its employees and seen by the Global Times. Staff working on the front lines of fighting the virus will receive 1,000 yuan each.