Hyundai Motor said it would halt production at its car plant in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu this week due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to reports in South Korea.

The automaker said it would suspend production for five days from today (Tuesday 25 May) after two workers tested positive for the disease.

Tamil Nadu, one of the worst hit states in India with more than 30,000 daily cases, has imposed a widespread economic lockdown until the end of May, although some plants have been exempted – including those owned by international carmakers.

Hyundai workers staged a sit-in protest on Monday, calling for the car company to adhere to the state wide lockdown fearing many more workers would become infected.

Similarly, workers at Renault-Nissan’s Tamil Nadu car plant plan to go on strike on Wednesday, with unions claiming their COVID-related safety demands have not been met.

Hyundai has also been forced to halt operations at a number of production lines in South Korea for a couple of days this week due to the global shortage of semiconductors.

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By GlobalData

Earlier this week Kia Corporation also announced it planned to suspend production at its US plant in Georgia on Thursday and Friday due to the chip shortage, after a two-day stoppage last month.