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5th Filipina migrant worker in HK tests positive for Covid-19

10 March 2020

By The SUN

The latest case also involves a migrant worker being infected by her employer

A Filipina domestic worker is among three new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Hong Kong, the Philippine Consulate confirmed late on Mar. 10. She and two others brought the day's official tally to 118.

The 48-year-old Filipina is the fifth migrant worker to have acquired the coronavirus disease from her employer.

One of them has already been released in good condition after repeated testing in hospital showed she was already virus-free. The three others are also in healthy condition and had already turned negative results, but are still being kept in hospital for further tests.

The Consulate said four other Filipinos are said to be currently in quarantine for being close contacts of Covid-19 patients.

According to Hong Kong health authorities, the latest Filipina to test positive for Covid-19  lives with her 52-year-old employer in Block 28, Lower Baguio Villa in Pokfulam. She is said to have an underlying illness.

Both employer and helper were found to have fever on Mar 9 while being checked in preparation for a quarantine. The employer’s mother who joined a 21-member tour group in India during the incubation period, was earlier found to have the disease.

But both the helper and her employer did not travel outside Hong Kong recently.

The helper was reported to have developed cough with sputum and runny nose since Mar 4. Both she and her employer are now said to be in stable condition. 

The first Filipina to get the disease lives with her employer in Mt Parker Lodge in Quarry Bay, while the third infected patient is from Redhill Peninsula in Hong Kong East, whose employer is among the 17 who acquired it from a Buddhist Temple in North Point.

The two others are both domestic helpers of socialite Yvonne Chow, who appears to have also passed on the virus to her brother, sister-in-law, and a pet Pomeranian. They live in Swiss Towers in Tai Hang.

The fifth worker’s employer is also among the new cases. She appears to have acquired it from her mother who joined a 21-member tour group in India during the incubation period. Their residential address has not been revealed.

The third new case involves a 59-year-old employee of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department who works at a wet market in Tai Po. The source of infection has not been disclosed.

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Chuang said the worker joined a tour organised by Sunflower Travel to Egypt between February 27 and March 7.

Also today, a 31-year-old evacuee from the virus-plagued Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined off Yokohama has again tested positive for the virus after being cleared by a hospital in Japan.

She was first infected on Feb. 18, but tested negative on Mar 4 and 6 in the Japanese hospital before returning to Hong Kong. Yesterday Mar 9, a tests at Queen Mary Hospital in Pokfulam showed she still had the disease.

HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam announcing the new travel restrictions today, Mar 10

According to Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable diseases branch under the Centre for Health Protection, the patient was not included in Hong Kong’s tally because she had already been recorded in Japan’s head count.

Dr Chuang said the woman had a chronic illness with a weak immune system, and could have been carrying the virus for a prolonged period.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced new restrictions for travelers entering Hong Kong. Those coming from Italy and parts of France, Germany, and Japan, will be put under forced quarantine for 14 days to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Covered by the new restrictions is the whole of Italy, which has already imposed a country-wide lockdown; as well as the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and Grand Est regions of France, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany, and Hokkaido in Japan.

The Hong Kong government is also said to be monitoring the situation in Spain and India, though travelers from these countries will not have to undergo quarantine at the moment.
The same mandatory quarantine was imposed on all arrivals from Iran starting on Mar. 1.

Starting from 6am on Feb 25, all Hong Kong residents returning from Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk in South Korea were also ordered to undergo compulsory quarantine for 14 days. Those coming from other parts of South Korea will be put under medical surveillance for the same period.

Earlier, on Feb. 8, all people entering Hong Kong from the mainland were also ordered to be put in the quarantine centers.

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