South Korea reports three-week high of 490 COVID-19 caseshttps://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/as … s-14397596
COVID-19 testing order on foreigners creates 'chaos' at testing centershttp://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article … Idx=305544
By Lee Hyo-jin
Gyeonggi Province's mandatory COVID-19 testing order for foreign workers in the region created "chaos" at overcrowded and understaffed testing centers over the weekend, with the number of visitors exceeding testing capacity.
Amid sporadic infection clusters at companies employing foreign workers in the area, the local government issued an administrative order, March 8, enforcing all foreign workers in the region to get tested for the coronavirus by March 22.
Those who fail to undergo a test during the period could be fined up to 3 million won ($2,600), according to the order, and if an infection occurs among those who have not been tested, the authorities will demand indemnity (payment) for the cost of their treatment and quarantine.
But criticism has mounted among the foreign community on the local government's imposition of a "bureaucratic" measure without considering its lack of testing capacity, as around 85,000 foreign workers are expected to get tested during the two-week period.
Foreign nationals who received a test over the weekend shared their experiences with The Korea Times, on condition of anonymity, on how makeshift testing sites across the province were poorly organized and packed with practically no space for social distancing, putting visitors at risk of potential infection.
A U.S. citizen living in Bucheon said, "I arrived at the testing site at 9 a.m., Saturday, half an hour before it opened, but the area was already packed. I waited in the line for over two hours, during which it seemed that nobody was following social distancing measures."
It makes sense to me to test foreign workers just arriving (esp. from hot spots), but to target ones who've been living in the country for like a decade, above and beyond native-born Koreans, at facilities not exactly observing social distancing seems rather unnecessary.
south korea recently re-opened schools. there are several clusters that have been isolated and identified. one is with a public baths (koreans frequent these) and the other is with a factory in the surrounding industrial cities of seoul (aka gyeonggi province).
workers in these factories are normally like phillipinos or kazakhs or something. they live in subhuman conditions, exist without documentation, and incubate covid clusters in their huge dormitories. they are basically exploited like third-world workers are exploited anywhere else. cf. the fate of asians in dubai or mexicans in cali.
forcing all foreigners to queue up and get tested is tone-deaf and dumb. enough noise has been made about it. how often does korean covid news make it to international bureaus? reuters reports on korean covid news once per month and it's always a story like this. dumb as fuck, i agree.
95% of new daily cases from covid are community transmissions between koreans. let me tell you, from living here, people here are living exactly as normal. there's round-the-block queues for hipster instagram-trendy cafés, bistros, and donut shops here. last weekend was 'whites day', which is some weird, fake, contrived calendar date in the same vein as valentines' day: a massive excuse for couples to go out and shop/eat, basically. i saw thousands of koreans in my neighbourhood, queued back-to-back, waiting to go into huge three-storey restaurants and eat together without masks. this country barely has any restrictions on day-to-day life.
elections in 3-4 weeks. no surprises. time to call up some foreigners and test them to please the old fogeys. korea has a giant captive voter-base who read right-wing tabloids, just like anywhere else. shock! horror! at the same time ... we're talking about a 4-week high of < 500 cases
. show me a buttfuck city in idaho or arizona that can talk about having <500 cases per month. a country of 50 million+ are freaking out over a 400+ daily average. europe and the united states can't even dream of it.
this xenophobic dynamic plays out in multicultural west just as much as monocultural 'racist' korea. old tabloid-reading people are xenophobic and politicians find it expedient to blame everything on some external 'Other' beyond their responsibility. OMG! THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!
aside from the quite evident legal/political classification of 'foreigners' and our separate treatment, i have not experienced any racism here in the last 3-4 weeks of freedom. culturally the old people might have some reservations, but nothing like a racist incident. in the west, asians encountered hate speech, intimidation, and outright physical violence. i have not experienced anything remotely like it here.
Last edited by uziq (2021-03-17 10:01:40)