Authorities concerned as migrant workers and students quarantine among locals

The mayor said that many migrant workers and foreign exchange students have been moving into Shanglin community(上林社區)for centralized quarantine. (photo courtesy/ 簡志偉@Facebook)

Chien Chih-Wei (簡志偉), mayor of Dalin township (大林鎮), Chiayi, recently received calls from local residents, saying that the community has seen an influx of migrant workers and foreign exchange students in quarantine. 

The residents feared that quarantining among local residents will bring the risk of an outbreak to the community. Chien Chih-Wei took to Facebook to speak on the matter and expressed his support for screening all residents for Covid-19 for safety purposes.

The mayor said that many migrant workers and foreign exchange students have been moving into the Shanglin community (上林社區) for centralized quarantine. However, the town hall wasn’t notified about the matter.

He added that it has caused great concerns for the local residents to the point that they are scared to encounter foreigners when buying groceries, fearing they might be people supposedly in quarantine. 

“With manpower agencies sending migrant workers in batches to the community’s student dormitory to quarantine for 14 days, It is imperative that Dalin Township residents all be screened,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

He stressed: “This has caused the residents to panic, and risks breaching epidemic prevention. In order to ensure the safety of the local residents, the government is obliged to conduct universal COVID-19 screenings.”

According to the United Daily News, the acting director of the Chiayi counter health bureau (嘉義縣衛生局) Chao Wen-hua (趙紋華) said that migrant workers and foreign exchange students must be quarantined in centralized facilities provided by the government.

She added that The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) will work with local police forces to monitor those in quarantine with Intelligent Electronic Fence Systems, so the residents must not worry.

Recently, The Changhua County Public Health Bureau(彰化縣衛生局) was investigated by the Civil Service Ethics Department (政風局) for going against CECC’s policy and conducting universal Covid-19 screenings.

Chien Chih-Wei’s Facebook post has triggered people’s assumption that he is in support of the Changhua Health Bureau. However, he has clarified that his stance was purely out of consideration of the health and interests of the residents.