A Chinese factory owned by South Korean semiconductor giant SK Hynix Inc halted operations on Sunday after a plant worker was found to have an asymptomatic infection of the novel coronavirus, the official news agency Xinhua reported.
The Korean worker based at the plant in Chongqing city since February had departed on Thursday for South Korea, Xinhua reported.
He was tested at Incheon airport in Seoul and confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus on Saturday, it reported.
All factory staff as well as staff and recent guests at the hotel where the worker lived have been isolated and given nucleic acid tests, the news agency said.
"We're cooperating with the local government on their containment efforts, and at the same time trying to resume production as soon as possible," said a spokesman at SK Hynix.
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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
He declined to comment on the impact the suspension would have.
SK Hynix, the world's No.2 memory chip maker, employs about 2,700 workers in the Chongqing facility, including some Koreans.
The city has carried out nucleic acid tests on 3,283 people, with 2,674 found negative, Xinhua said. Almost 500 environmental samples had also been collected, and all found negative.
China reported 11 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Nov. 28, compared with six cases a day earlier, the health authority said earlier on Sunday.
All of the new infections were imported cases, the National Health Commission said in a statement. There were no new deaths.
China also reported 10 new asymptomatic patients, compared with four a day earlier.
As of Nov. 28, mainland China had a total of 86,512 confirmed coronavirus cases, it said.China's death toll from the coronavirus remained unchanged at 4,634.