(ATTN: FIXES info at bottom)
SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong visited one of the company's South Korean plants affected by the new coronavirus on Tuesday and encouraged employees there to overcome the crisis.
Lee, the heir apparent of Samsung Group, South Korea's top conglomerate, inspected Samsung Electronics' smartphone plant in the southeastern city of Gumi and spoke with production line workers there.
"I want to thank all people here who are doing their jobs on the front line despite a difficult situation," Lee said. "The company will do its best to protect your health and safety."
Samsung has so far reported four virus-infected workers at its production sites in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, only about 50 kilometers north of Daegu, where more than 70 percent of the country's novel coronavirus infections have been reported.
The world's largest smartphone maker had to shut down its Gumi smartphone production line for days recently after its workers tested positive for COVID-19.
Samsung also reported a virus-infected worker at its foundry factory in Yongin, south of Seoul, last week, but said it has not affected its chip production.
Samsung said Lee will not put himself into self-quarantine after his visit to Gumi, citing that the plant had completed disinfection work and that he had not met with any employees who are suspected of having contracted the virus.
N. Korean leader's sister condemns U.S. provision of tanks to Ukraine
Prosecutors indict head of hotel adjoining site of Itaewon crowd crush
(LEAD) S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases fall below 30,000
U.N. rapporteur for N. Korea human rights to visit S. Korea next week
(Yonhap Interview) NATO chief calls for stronger security ties with S. Korea to address China, other global challenges