Da Nang's factories adapt and overcome amid pandemic

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2021 13:52

An engineer monitors a control system at the surface-mount technology (SMT) factory in the Da Nang Information Technology Park. The COVID-19 hit factory still maintained production for exporting in the third quarter of 2021. — VNS Photo Cong Thanh

Some 400 businesses in six industrial zones (IZ) and Da Nang Hi-Tech Park in the central city have managed to stay open throughout much of the pandemic, thanks to anti-COVID measures.

The use of a pandemic risk warning system and rapid response teams at every enterprise and factory has been key to the success.

Nearly 70,000 workers faced a difficult time when 40 positive SARS-COV-2 cases were reported at three companies that identified infections from one source in May.

Production was mostly temporarily suspended at six IZs and high-tech park.

Online health declarations, QR code scanners and a coronavirus warning digital system were rapidly set up at IZs and the high-tech park, while safe dining halls, night-stay pavilions and protective distance working places were built at factories to ensure space for non-stop production during social distancing in the city in May.

“Pandemic stand-by plans were readied in every factory. Ninety-eight per cent of companies in IZs prepared coronavirus infection risk scenarios and reaction plans to deal with a possible widespread COVID-19 outbreak throughout IZs and the park,” said the head of the Da Nang Hi-tech Park and Industrial Zones Authority (Da Nang HPIZA), Pham Truong Son.

“Factories planned for the worst situation and long-term quarantines in case of the virus hitting the city’s IZs. Preventive solutions were checked at 240 enterprises, while 300 companies have linked to the digital COVID-19 map – the COVIDMaps, or COVIDmaps.danang.gov.vn – an app for all updated information on COVID-19 outbreak sites, quarantined and locked-down zones,” he said.

“Online health declarations are compulsory to enter and exit IZs and parks, while COVID-19 update messages can be easily accessed by smartphone applications including Zalo, Danang Smart City, khaibaoyte.danang.gov.vn or the switchboard 1022,” he added.

Workers wear full-face glasses at a factory in Hoa Khanh Industrial zone of Da Nang City. Six IZs and Parks in the city remained in production in the COVID-19 outbreak. — Photo courtesy of Minh Trang

Trinh Thi Kim Binh, from Liwayway foodstuff company, said screens had been set up in their dining room for a maximum of 70 workers to ensure a safe distance between workers, alongside different meal times for different groups.

Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang from Foster Viet Nam company said an app for smartphone users had been developed by the company to make online health declarations for all workers and visitors easier.

She said some production lines were moved to other workshops to keep only half of the normal number of workers in an area at once.

The COVID-19 testing results of every worker were reported to the company and residential management firm, she said.

Positive growth

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak returning in early June, the Da Nang Hi-tech Park and IZs still attracted US$145.3 million of investment from three foreign direct investment (FDI) projects and VND188.4 billion ($8.2 million) from eight domestic investors in the first half this year.

Five projects in the IZs increased their investment capital by a total of $6.7 million.

The city's six IZs and hi-tech park have combined annual revenue of $2.5 billion, of which more than $1 billion comes from exports, making up a quarter of the city's budget.

Safe panels are installed at dining room of a company in Lien Chieu Industrial Zone of Da Nang. COVID-19 preventive measures were used in protection of workers from SARS-COV-2 infections at work place.— Photo courtesy of Minh Trang

Meanwhile, the first surface-mount technology (SMT) factories of Trung Nam Group at Da Nang Hi-Tech Park has also been coping with COVID-19 difficulties.

The five factories with a total of 200 engineers and workers had to cut their manpower in half to ensure safety.

SARS-COV-2 testing for all workers and engineers working at factories also slowed the company's efforts to begin manufacturing soon.

Although none of its workers tested positive for COVID-19, social distancing orders by the municipal People's Committee on four occasions since last year made it impossible for workers to travel from home to the factories.

The factories however still plan to deliver the first export cargo of printed circuit boards and electronic components in the third quarter this year, according to the general director of the Da Nang’s Information Technology Park JSC (DITP) company, under Trung Nam Group, Nguyen Anh Huy.

He said Trung Nam Group and South Korea’s LG Electronics had been working to transform Da Nang into the centre of technology and R&D in Viet Nam, and central Viet Nam's 'Silicon Valley’.

No new COVID-19 community cases have been reported in Da Nang since June 17.— VNS

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