The well known Chinese scientist who was behind the discovery of the SARS virus in 2003 has been tapped by Foxconn, the largest contract manufacturer of electronics of the world, to provide the company valuable advice on how to prevent the spread of the cronavirus even as the company tries to ramp up production to demand levels.
17 years ago, the correct way to treat the SARS virus infection was found by Zhong Nanshan who was later named the “SARS hero” by Chinese state media. He was also vociferous against the official Chinese narrative that SARS was under control.
Zhong has been thrust back into the spotlight once again with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 2,700 people so far. He was also made the chief of the National Health Commission of China’s arm probing into the latest virus outbreak.
Zhong has now been requested to serve as a consultant for Foxconn’s efforts at prevention and rehabilitation of the virus infected because of the expertise of the scientist in respiratory diseases. Zhong will give advice and guidance to the company, said the company in a statement on Tuesday.
The extension of the Lunar New Year holiday in China had forced Foxconn to keep its Chinese factories, the assembles iPhones for Apple, closed down for a longer duration than had been expected. However the company has said that its factories would be reopened in a in a “relatively cautious manner” and this would impact the full year results of the company.
This has impacted Apple too. Supply and demand issues would force the company to not meet its own revenue guidance for the March quarter, the iPhone maker has said earlier this month.
“Worldwide iPhone supply will be temporarily constrained. While our iPhone manufacturing partner sites are located outside the Hubei province — and while all of these facilities have reopened — they are ramping up more slowly than we had anticipated,” Apple said in a statement at the time.
Wuhan, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, is located in Hubei province.
On the other hand, nearly half of the total stalls that Apple has in mainland China have been opened even though many are operating for a much shorter period of time than usual.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)