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Nokia shuts plant in south India after 42 test positive for coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: The logo and ticker for Nokia are displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Nokia NOKIA.HE last week suspended operations at a telecoms gear manufacturing plant in southern India, the company said on Tuesday, after some employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Nokia did not disclose how many workers at the plant in Sriperumbudur in the southern state of Tamil Nadu tested positive, but a source familiar with the matter said they were at least 42.

The company said it had already implemented measures such as social distancing and changes to canteen facilities.

The factory had begun operations in a restricted manner over the past few weeks, Nokia said in a statement, after India eased the world’s biggest lockdown to kick-start its economy which has been pummelled by the shutdown.

“We hope to resume operations soon at a restricted level with skeletal staff strength,” Nokia added.

Chinese smartphone maker OPPO last week suspended operations at a recently re-opened plant on the outskirts of Indian capital New Delhi after at least nine workers tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The outbreaks at Nokia and OPPO underline the challenges of easing the two-month nationwide lockdown.

India on Tuesday recorded a total of 145,380 coronavirus infections and a death toll of 4,167, comparatively low figures for the world’s second-most populous country.

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal and Sudarshan Varadhan; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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