Volkswagen suspends production in Brazil over Covid-19 upsurge

Rio de Janeiro, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- The German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen said Friday that it will suspend production at all its plants in Brazil due to the worsening of the coronavirus pandemic, which has already caused more than 11.8 million infections and 290,000 deaths in the country.

Production will be halted between Mar. 24 and Apr. 4 in the company’s four plants in the South American country.

According to a statement by the company on Friday, the decision was based on the country’s current pandemic situation, which on Friday registered a record 90,500 fresh cases in a single day.

Lack of space in the Intensive Care Units and drugs for these units, along with the already noticeable oxygen shortage in some states, has left Brazil facing its biggest healthcare collapse in history.

Volkswagen said it took this decision keeping in mind the health and safety of its employees and their families and after consulting with regional workers’ unions.

According to the car maker, only essential activities will be undertaken at its four plants in the country, while employees in the administrative divisions can work from home.

Recently, the metallurgical workers union in Sao Paulo have been pressurizing other automobile firms in the region, such as Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Scania to suspend work at its factories.

This is not the first time that the German company has stopped its activities due to the coronavirus. A year ago, Volkswagen had suspended work at its units in Brazil for three weeks due to the pandemic. EFE-EPA


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