Lecico Egypt to close Alexandria’s factory due to coronavirus

Lecico Egypt will close its factory in Alexandria governorate for two weeks after two workers there tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the company told Ahram Online in a statement on Tuesday.

Workers at the Lecico for Ceramic Industries Factory, located in the city of Borg El-Arab, will be asked to stay at home in self-isolation for the two-week period, the statement said.

The factory represents 35 percent of the total production capacity for the firm’s sanitary-ware business, it said.

Lecico primarily produces bathroom fixtures and tiles.

Its other production sites are still operational, the statement said, predicting “minimal disruption to customer needs” after the factory closure “given its stock levels and the already slowing demand for products as a result of” the pandemic.

The statement said the firm had already implemented a range of health and safety measures, including training for employees, issuing employees with individual hand-sanitisers, temperature checks at offices and factories, sick leave for those with cold or flu symptoms, and increased social distancing in offices.

The company “believes it must continue to operate as much as possible within these changing parameters to protect its customers’ business and ensure Lecico’s continuity commercially and financially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” read the statement.

Factories in Egypt were last week authorised by the government to resume work at full capacity.

The decision sparked debate, part of a wider discussion of the impact of the coronavirus preventive measures on the country’s economic conditions and daily life.

Several big-name business figures have argued that the nightly curfew, implemented in March, and other measures to limit the spread of the virus, will have a major negative impact on the private sector and force lay-offs.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said last week in a televised speech that he is not in favour of a total suspension of work.

He has, however, called for adequate safety measures; last week he made an impromptu appearance at a Cairo construction site and was videoed questioning site managers about workers’ lack of masks.

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