COVID-19 spike in Taiwan bad news for electronics industry?

Posted on Monday, May 17 2021 @ 12:38 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan was exemplary in terms of mitigation. Even without vaccines, the country managed to keep the impact of the pandemic to an absolute minimum versus the situation in other countries. But this has suddenly changed as the country is seeing a huge spike in COVID-19 cases.

Over the past couple of days, COVID-19 cases in the country rose tenfold. This morning, Taiwanese officials reported 333 new domestic cases, the fourth consecutive daily record. In response to the escalating situation, Taiwan is closing its borders effective from Wednesday, only citizens and legal residents will be allowed access to the country until June 18.

Compared with Western countries, Taiwan's number of COVID-19 cases are small but it seems the country has lost its strict control. To date, Taiwan recorded only 2,017 COVID-19 cases. The past couple of days account for nearly 40 percent of Taiwan's total.

A risk to the electronics supply chain?

DigiTimes highlights the spike in cases could pose a risk to the electronics supply chain. So far, no major infections have been reported among Taiwan's semiconductor supply chain, but companies are starting to adjust. DigiTimes notes Pegatron is now taking work-from-home measures for its Taiwan offices.
As COVID-19 cases surge in Taiwan, concerns have been raised over the stability of chip supply from the local semiconductor value chain. No major infections have been reported among Taiwan's semiconductor and IT supply chains yet, but Pegatron has adopted work-from-home measures for its Taiwan offices after one of its employees was infected with coronavirus. But demand for PCs in Southeast Asia remains strong despite the resurging pandemic there, according to Acer's president for the region.
Word is going around that TSMC is now also operating in separated teams to lower COVID-19 infection risk. Should things get worse in Taiwan, it could further exacerbate chip shortages.




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