COVID-19: 28 media house employees, 11 workers linked to Chinese phone-making units test positive

PTI, May 19, 2020, 7:49 AM IST

Noida: Twenty-eight employees of a media house and 11 linked to two Chinese phone-manufacturing companies tested positive for coronavirus in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) on Monday, officials said.

Nine workers of Oppo and two construction workers at the factory site of its sister concern Vivo in Greater Noida tested positive for the infection. Eight of the Oppo workers are in Gautam Buddh Nagar while one is in neighboring Ghaziabad district, the officials said.

Of the 28 employees of Noida Sector 16A-located Zee Media who have tested positive for Covid-19, 15 reside in Gautam Buddh Nagar while 13 are in Delhi, Faridabad, and Gurgaon, according to officials.

The Zee Media said in a statement it initiated “mass testing” after one of its employees was detected with the COVID-19 infection last Friday.

Specific areas on the premises of Oppo and Vivo in Greater Noida and Zee Media office in Noida have been sealed for sanitization work, Gautam Buddh Nagar District Magistrate Suhas L Y said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the number of cases in Gautam Buddh Nagar adjoining Delhi in western Uttar Pradesh rose to 286 on Monday with the detection of 31 new patients, excluding those from Ghaziabad, Delhi, Faridabad, and Gurgaon.

Among other patients in Gautam Buddh Nagar are five contacts of a man from Sector 5 Harola village, who was earlier detected with the infection and a 40-year-old woman from Sector 78 Noida, he added.

“Total 1,679 test results were obtained on Monday of which 1,648 were negative and 31 positive. Total of 286 positive cases have been recorded so far. Three patients were discharged on Monday, taking the number of recoveries so far to 194 and active cases is 87,” he said in a statement.

Referring to the spread of COVID-19 from a 39-year-old man in Zee Media, he said, “The man lives in Delhi”s Laxmi Nagar but works at Zee Media office in Sector 16A Noida.

“He was found COVID-19 positive on May 15. His 51 contacts were tested at Max Lab in Delhi. His 15 contacts, who are employees in the same organization, residing in Gautam Buddh Nagar have tested positive,” he added.

Another 13 contacts of the man who reside in Delhi, Faridabad, and Gurgaon have tested positive for coronavirus and the administrations of their respective districts were doing the needful, as per protocols.

Gautam Buddh Nagar has so far recorded five deaths — all males aged above 60, according to officials.

The number of samples collected until Monday stood at 8,245, according to the official statement. Oppo has got 3,321 employees tested for COVID-19 at a private lab in Gurgaon, Haryana, and result of 1,581 of them have been sent to the health department, Gautam Buddh Nagar, while others were awaited, it stated.

Vivo got 18 employees tested at a private lab in Gurgaon, Haryana, and results of 16 of them were negative, while two were positive, the administration said.

A Vivo spokesperson said, “No Vivo employee has tested positive until date, and we are taking all precautionary measures adhering to all government guidelines.”

“Our current operational factory, 15 kms away from the construction site, is running at 30 percent of its capacity as per the norms stated by Greater Noida authorities,” the spokesperson added.

Oppo said in a statement that it places the safety of all its employees and citizens at the forefront.

“We had not only undertaken COVID-19 tests for all employees at the manufacturing facility in Greater Noida but also suspended all operations at the plant. We are undertaking stringent measures to keep the employees safe,” the company said.

Oppo also said that it has started screening more than 3,000 workers who have to join work and also approached the government for the test.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Zee Media said last Friday one of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.

“As a responsible organization, we initiated mass testing of all those who could have been in direct or indirect contact with the said individual,” it said.

“So far, 28 of our team-mates have tested positive. Fortunately, most of them are asymptomatic and not complaining of any discomfort. We believe this is because of early diagnosis and pro-active intervention,” it added in the statement.

“We are following the best practices to break the cycle and contain the infection, in coordination with all government and health authorities. All health protocols and official guidelines are being followed. Our office, newsroom, and studios have been sealed for sanitization. The Zee News team has been shifted to an alternative facility for the time being,” Zee Media said.

Meanwhile, the testing of the rest of the employees will continue, it said, adding the group has 2,500 employees.

“Since Noida has a lot of containment zones, aggressive testing, isolation and treatment is the only way to ensure the safety of our team-mates,” it added.

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