Got negative yesterday and tested again today

▲ Reporter Go-eun Eo

Caregivers are protesting against the government guidelines to conduct daily COVID-19 tests for workers in facilities vulnerable to infection, such as nursing homes. It is pointed out that even considering the group infection situation centered on nursing hospitals, the ‘7-day-a-week inspection’ is excessive and the responsibility of quarantine is shifted to individuals in the situation where the workers at the facility are given additional vaccinations (boost shots).

According to the nursing service union on the 30th, workers in nursing hospitals and facilities in the metropolitan area are undergoing a gene amplification (PCR) test twice a week according to the recent government guidelines, and the rapid antigen test (self-test) for the remaining 5 days.

The Central Accident Management Headquarters announced on the 12th that it will expand the PCR test from once a week to twice a week for workers in nursing hospitals, facilities and psychiatric hospitals in the metropolitan area in the ‘Emergency Medical Response Plan for the Increase in Confirmed Cases in the Capital Region’ announced on the 12th. However, recently, the Central Quarantine Countermeasures Headquarters issued guidelines to each city and province to conduct an additional rapid antigen test in addition to the PCR test. For workers in facilities vulnerable to infection in the metropolitan area, from the 4th week of November, PCR is not performed (five times a week) for 4 weeks to be tested for rapid antigen. The central headquarters said, “It is a plan to strengthen inspections to protect the vulnerable groups according to the results and instructions of the quarantine strategy meeting presided over by the Prime Minister and the central headquarters meeting.”

In fact, according to the notice at a nursing facility in the metropolitan area, released by the union, it is stated that “Except for the 2nd day of the week, the PCR test should be performed on the other 5 days of the week.” When you go to work, you will be tested in the counseling room and if you get a negative test, you will be sent to work. It also includes the requirement to test at home, take a picture of the results, and report to the team leader, even if it is a holiday. Jeon Ji-hyeon, secretary general of the labor union, said, “Currently, caregivers are receiving booster shots, but there are no exceptions for booster shots.

Mr. Kim, a caregiver with 12 years of experience working at a nursing facility in Incheon, said, “I received a negative text message yesterday, and I have to test again today. I have to go get it,” he pleaded.

The union held a press conference in front of the Democratic Party of Korea in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul on the morning of the same day, saying, “We are driving caregivers as the main culprit in the spread of Corona. The union will hold a one-man demonstration in front of the Democratic Party of Korea from December 1.

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