SiS R&D fab re-opens after SARS suspect shuts plant

Normal business resumed after disinfection

SiS has confirmed that its Hsin Chu R&D fab was temporarily closed last week after one of its R&D staff had been quarantined by the Taiwanese health authorities with suspected SARS.

The employee has now sent home. She is still in quarantine, and will remain so until 19 May, but was allowed home after thermal, blood and x-ray tests showed she did not appear to be suffering from the disease.

She was admitted to Hsin Chu Military Hospital as a SARS suspect on 30 April despite flu-like symptoms but not the fever common in SARS cases. She remained a SARS suspect because an ex-SiS employee seeking treatment using a company health insurance card has also been identified as a SARS suspect. That individual left SiS more than six months ago, the company said.

The company's announcement was made following rumours that it had been forced to shut down its Hsin Chu centre. After the female employee was declared a SARS suspect, SiS disinfected its air conditioning and all office areas. Employees were told to "suspend visiting schedules", by which we take it to mean they were told to stay at home.

"Normal working hours" - as the company puts it - resumed yesterday following the completion of the disinfection process on 1 May and a five-day evaluation period during which SiS Hsin Chu employees were monitored for signs of the disease. No further suspected cases have been identified.

Visitors and employees must show a sub-38 degrees Celsius body temperature before being allowed into SiS buildings. ®

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