Virus shouldn’t spread to Tatarstan via Haier’s Chinese staff in Naberezhnye Chelny

The plant has stocked up on masks, is daily controlling its employees’ temperature and playing it safe in every possible way

A Skype conference of Director General of Haier Rus Sun Zhenhua and Lyudmila Romanova, the head of Haier in Russia, took place in the city administration of Naberezhnye Chelny on 5 February. Mr Zhenhua answered journalists’ questions about the epidemiological situation in the corporation’s plants and how the coronavirus import via their employees coming from China was prevented.

The epidemic hasn’t reached Haier so far, either in Russia or China

Nobody has fallen sick yet in the corporation’s plants, Sun Zhenhua said. The Chinese office developed a special programme in which every employee daily inserts data about his or her health when they come to work. Nobody has fallen sick at the headquarters of the company so far, the staff’s family members are all fine.

Everything is also fine in Naberezhnye Chelny in all three plants (fridge, TV and washing machine plants). A special regime was introduced here as well, the staff’s health is daily examined. The director general of the company reminded that there had been detected only two cases of the disease in Russia, and they, to put it mildly, were far from Tatarstan: in Transbaikal Krai and Tyumen Oblast. Moreover, both patients’ state isn’t severe, they are isolated. “This is why we are sure that all is well in our plant in Naberezhnye Chelny today,” Mr Zhenhua concluded.

A Skype conference of Director General of Haier Rus Sun Zhenhua and Lyudmila Romanova, the head of Haier in Russia, took place in the city administration of Naberezhnye Chelny on 5 February. Photo: nabchelny.ru

10 Chinese citizens work in Chelny plants, two are in quarantine

Sun Zhenhua said that 10 Chinese citizens worked in Naberezhnye Chelny at that moment. Eight of them have a business visa, two — employment visa. Three Chinese employees work in the fridge plant, they arrived in January. The others came in December 2019. They all have been in Russia for more than three weeks already, this is why they work as usual: one can be sure they aren’t posing any epidemiological threat.

Seven people work in the washing machines plant, one of them was due to fly to China on a business trip. Four out of six people arrived in December, one in November and another one in October, so one can also be sure of their health.

The last two people came to Chelny from China on 30 January, and they are bearing the brunt. These citizens of China were put in quarantine: they did medical check-up first, did a blood test, and now the management is waiting for the results of their tests. They will be living separately for two weeks, every day they will be provided with all necessary things: food, household chemicals and other essentials.

“They did tests before the trip as well, otherwise, they wouldn’t have been allowed to leave the country. But we are playing it safe, and as soon as they arrived, we immediately took them to the hospital and did an examination and put them in quarantine in separate flats.”

Sun Zhenhua said that there were some delays in the scheduled arrival of some employees from China. Photo: nabchelny.ru

Safety measures: temperature control, masks, disinfection, delay of business trips

Sun Zhenhua said that there were some delays in the scheduled arrival of some employees from China.

“Not because they are unhealthy but because there has been a temporary adjustment in China, and the New Year holidays were extended for a week. We should comply with legislation. Secondly, we also should consider that it is necessary to minimise the risk for people who are on a business trip during their transportation. This is why we will plan new trips and flights of employees only after 10 February. For instance, the vice director general of production is going to return from China after the holidays end.”

The director general of Haier Rus said that immediately after the first information about the epidemic, the Russian office of the company consulted with Chinese specialists and the headquarters. Then there was held a general meeting with the Russian management of the plants. There were taken serious preventive and protective measures in the plant: a full-fledged scheme was created with truly Chinese scrupulosity and accuracy.

“We took the following measures: firstly, we urgently prepared all necessary materials and tools to take the temperature. Every employee’s temperature is taken every day, the data is registered in a notebook. A medical check-up and all necessary actions for quick control were organised. Disinfection in canteens and sanitary rooms was tightened. We recommended all employees to avoid contacts with people who are having viral respiratory infections and mass events. We prepared masks: as the coronavirus is airborne, if the employees want, they can wear masks in the workplace,” Sun Zhenhua explained.

The director general of Haier Rus said that immediately after the first information about the epidemic, the Russian office of the company consulted with Chinese specialists and the headquarters. Photo: Sergey Afanasyev

Strictest regime for Chinese staff

“Of course, the strictest regime is imposed on Chinese employees. We created a roster and strict regime of registration of not only all our employees who will come from China but also our suppliers and Chinese partners. All Chinese citizens who will come to Naberezhnye Chelny to service our project will have to register all data about their business trip beforehand and provide their health certificates. We will accompany them to the hospital to do all the tests. Every person will be allocated a flat for two-week quarantine. They won’t live in hotels of the city not to create inconveniences for the locals, we have already prepared a special hall of residence. We are sure that all these administrative measures will help us solve these problems,” Zhenhua said.

Spare parts of Russian origin, no scheduled supplies from China

In answer to the question that concerned journalists if it was scheduled to supply equipment and spare parts from China soon, Zhenhua replied:

“In January, our fridge plant stalled for two days: equipment for door manufacturing broke down. Now our main problem is that we don’t have enough spare parts for the thermal vacuum unit. There are spare parts in Moscow, we are waiting for them from the supplier. At the moment we need nothing from China, the first scheduled supply to Naberezhnye Chelny is expected in late March. Equipment certainly won’t be delivered from there during the next three weeks.”

When asked if the plant’s plans were spoiled, the director general of Haier in Russia replied that all production plans in Naberezhnye Chelny in January were performed. There aren’t difficulties impeding sales of products at the moment. Now all the three plants in Chelny have enough reserves of spare parts: they went through the customs in December and January. This is why they can be used in the plants, and the work can go on. “We don’t see any difficulties with our project. We are sure that our business in Russia will go on,” Zhenhua concluded.

By Lyudmila Gubayeva
Tatarstan