Several South Korea provinces and cities are continuing to mandate coronavirus testing for foreign workers, despite a request from the national government that prompted Seoul to end its mandate amid international outcry, APA reports citing Reuters.
Last week the headquarters of the nation’s pandemic control effort asked local governments to end mandatory testing for foreigners, and improve testing policies to eliminate discrimination or rights violations. But only Seoul scrapped its controversial order.
The same day, Daegu, the fourth-largest city, with a population of 2.5 million, doubled down with a second order expanding the number of foreign workers that needed to be tested. No foreign workers among 2,553 in the first round tested positive, Daegu said in a statement.
The city, once the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in South Korea, also mandated that any new foreign hires be tested between March 19 to 28.
South Jeolla province kept its order to test about 14,000 foreigners in March, but said it had revised its policies to include more Koreans, a provincial official told Reuters.
So far 24,700 foreign workers have been tested, with one testing positive, the official said.