MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG (VW) has announced that roughly 2% of its workforce in Mexico have tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19).
The workers had contracted the virus at some point, underlining the challenge faced by automakers in reopening factories before the pandemic has peaked in Mexico.
Last Tuesday, the German carmaker began sending workers in reduced numbers back to its factory in the city of Puebla, where Audi also has a major plant.
Many other major carmakers, especially from the United States and Japan, had resumed operations in other parts of Mexico a couple of weeks earlier.
The state of Puebla, however, has been one of the parts of Mexico worst hit by the virus and had delayed reopening factories.
The company, which said that it tested staff extensively for Covid-19 infections and antibodies, said staff who tested positive had contracted it during the period after the plants had shut in late March and before resuming work.
About 45% of the company’s 11,364 workers and collaborators had been tested and nearly 2% had contracted the virus, the company said in a statement - equivalent to about 100 workers.
Mexico has become one of the world’s main coronavirus hotspots, with the Latin American nation on Monday reporting 4,577 new infections and 759 additional deaths.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been criticised for permitting factories to reopen too soon, with few signs that the number of deaths or infections was easing up.
The company added that the plant in “coming days will remain focused on training and preparation for the start of manufacturing.” (Reuters)