|An industrial section of Yangsan, where thousands of foreigners work, many of whom do not have an appropriate visa. The city's government is offering free, anonymous coronavirus tests to them to prevent the disease's transmission by so-called "silent spreaders."|
By Park Si-soo
In line with the nationwide blitz to uncover "silent spreaders" of the coronavirus, Yangsan City is offering free and anonymous tests to undocumented foreigners.
The city ― home to hundreds of thousands of labor-intensive agricultural, mining and manufacturing businesses ― is promoting this through public welfare centers for foreign residents, apartment bulletin boards and city-wide broadcasting. Thousands of foreigners work in the city, many without a proper visa.
Officials said the campaign began out of concern that undocumented foreigners would avoid taking a test or seeing a doctor for suspicious symptoms on fears that doing so would reveal their identity and status and result in them facing deportation.
"It's all free and can be anonymous," a Yangsan official said. "This is to keep public health safe, not to crack down on undocumented foreigners. Please come forward and get a test."