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China’s foreign workers get infected with coronavirus despite vaccine


Taiwan media has claimed that foreign workers of Chinese State-run companies have contracted the debilitating coronavirus despite being given China-made vaccines. Reportedly, over 300 workers in Serbia, Angola and Uganda got infected despite taking the locally-made Sinopharm vaccine.

Taiwan News has reported that over 300 workers out of a total 400 Chinese workers at the Tianjin Electric Power Construction Company (TEPC) project in Pancevo tested positive for Covid-19. They had reportedly been vaccinated with the Sinopharm vaccine.

Similarly, Chinese construction workers in Angola too have tested positive for the coronavirus. Reportedly these workers were working at a Chinese state-owned enterprise in Lunda Norte Province. A separate report by Radio Free Asia (RFA) says that Chinese rules make it mandatory for all overseas workers to get vaccinated before going abroad. It says that China had started giving the Sinopharm vaccine to migrant workers heading overseas besides government officials and students. In Uganda too Chinese workers contracted covid. "The Chinese Embassy in Uganda reported in early December that 47 Chinese migrant workers there had tested positive for COVID-19 after being vaccinated. It was unclear which vaccine the workers had been given, however," says the report by RFA.

China had sent nearly 263,000 of its workers to African countries to work on numerous infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road Initiative. Of these nearly 62,600 have returned over the past few years. Approximately 200,000 still continue to work there after African governments put pressure on China to absorb more local workers and generate employment for the Africans.

However, Chinese loans and investment in African countries are beginning to show a decline after highs of a few years back. Serbia and China enjoy a close relationship as the latter has invested considerable amounts in the country's infrastructure including reviving its steel mill and building roadways. Now, Serbia is keen on importing Chinese high-speed trains and has been receiving large amounts of medical aid from China to combat the infection.