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Mom’s death new blow to DH wrongly accused of having Covid-19

30 March 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

Marilou is shown waiting for her test result, which turned out to be negative

A Filipina domestic worker who was locked out and wrongly accused by her employers of carrying the coronavirus on her return from Manila on Mar 20 has received yet another blow.

Marilou L., posting from her hotel room where she is spending her 14-week home quarantine after testing negative for the virus, announced the demise of her mother on Mar 28.

The distraught worker did not mention the cause of death of her mother, who her friends called Nanay Elis. She did not respond, either, to queries sent through messenger.


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In earlier post on Facebook on Mar 28, Marilou lamented her mother’s passing while she was confined to her hotel room because of the mandatory quarantine. She said she was filled with grief because she would never see her mother again.

She later replaced that with a deeply spiritual grief quote from Indian poet and author Nishan Panwar: “Death takes the body. God takes the soul. Our mind holds the memories. Our heart keeps the love. Our faith lets us know we will meet again. [I love u very much].”

The latest blow came as Marilou struggles with the specter of losing her job. Just before she moved to the hotel to resume her quarantine, she asked her female employer if she could resume work with them but got no definite answer.

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The succession of adverse events began when the single mother went home on Mar 16 for a supposed month-long vacation. She had just decided then to renew her employment contract with the Hong Kong family that she works for at the Olympic in Kowloon.

She said she had barely savored her reunion with her 16-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son when her employers recalled her to Hong Kong because of news that the situation in the Philippines was getting worse due to the pandemic.

On Mar 20, she flew back to Hong Kong, arriving in the evening. The next morning, her female employer heard her cough due to a sore throat and became hysterical. She said her employers immediately told her to leave because she had put them at risk of getting infected by the virus.
She sought help online from the community and through a private message, and calmed down only after Welfare Officer Virsie Tamayao of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration talked to her and her employers.

On the same day she was fetched by an ambulance and taken to the North Lantau Hospital for Covid-19 tests that turned out negative after hours of waiting.

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At dawn on Mar 22, she was put in the hotel by her male employer, who gave her $5,000 for her expenses throughout the quarantine period.

But her female employer, accordingly the more hysterical of the spouses, indirectly told the helper she does not want her back for fear of the infection.

She will find out what fate awaits her when she finishes her quarantine on Apr 5.
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