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Samsung shuts South Korea Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Z Flip factory due to coronavirus

Samsung shut down a mobile phone factory complex in South Korea after it was confirmed that one of its workers was infected with the new coronavirus, officially called COVID-19.

The factory is located in the southeastern city of Gumi, which is close to Daegu, the location of a church that is at the center of South Korea’s biggest outbreak of the virus.

According to Samsung, the whole complex will remain closed until February 24, while the floor where the infected employee worked will be off-limits until February 25. Operations at Samsung’s chip and display factories across South Korea, meanwhile, were not affected by the coronavirus case.

“The company has placed colleagues who came in contact with the infected employee in self-quarantine and taken steps to have them tested for possible infection,” said Samsung in a statement.

Samsung’s Gumi factory is responsible for making a small percentage of its total smartphone production and is focused on high-end models mostly to be distributed within South Korea. The shutdown of the complex will likely not have a major impact on the company’s output.

However, among the devices that are being manufactured at the Gumi factory are the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip smartphones. With stock of the folding phones already expected to be limited, a few days of suspended production may result in short-term supply shortages and dampen the launch of the Galaxy Z Flip.

The coronavirus outbreak has severely affected the tech industry, including Samsung’s biggest rival, Apple. The iPhone maker warned investors that it will likely miss its forecast revenue for its fiscal second quarter, due to the temporarily halted production and closed retail stores in China, in addition to the lower iPhone demand in the country. The Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest mobile phone show, was also canceled by its organizers after major companies pulled out of the annual event in Barcelona due to coronavirus fears.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization reportedly recently organized a meeting that brought together major tech players such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google, with the goal of stopping the spread of misinformation about the new coronavirus.

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