PM calls for intensified coronavirus quarantine, more masks in areas heavy with undocumented migrant workers

SEOUL,  Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Wednesday called for enhanced quarantine measures in areas heavy with undocumented foreign migrant workers, warning against a possible regional outbreak of the coronavirus.

The prime minister, in a government response meeting, asked for more “intensified quarantine measures in those areas” and a policy where undocumented workers, who are staying and working in the country illegally, can receive protective face masks and visit hospitals without worrying about potentially being deported.

Citing the possibility of a Singapore-like outbreak in migrant worker dormitories, he said, “There are some 380,000 undocumented foreign workers in the country … Due to their unstable working conditions, there is a high chance that they won’t seek medical help even though they experience symptoms similar to those of the coronavirus.”

“In the case of Singapore, migrant worker dormitories with poor living conditions have increasingly become hot spots,” he said, pointing out that such facilities’ lack of ventilating systems and protective equipment allows the virus to easily spread, a living arrangement that he said is no different from those in South Korea.

To prevent a repeat of Singapore’s case from happening, he said the country needs to take a humanitarian, medical approach to the undocumented workers by putting in place measures that allow migrant workers, without being apprehensive of potential deportation, to easily access free face masks and COVID-19 tests, he said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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