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Ban on Manila arrivals raised as 6 more Filipina DHs found infected

03 April 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

40 travelers from the PHL were found infected in HK in the past 14 days

Local media representatives have asked Hong Kong health officials if they are thinking of imposing a travel ban on the Philippines, as six more new arrivals from Manila were included in today’s daily Covid-19 tally.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection reported 19 new coronavirus cases today, seven of which were locally acquired, and the remaining 12 all imported.


Of the 12 imported infections, Chuang said six involved foreign domestic helpers from the Philippines, who were all also found to carry the highly infectious coronavirus variant.

Two, aged 29 and 31, arrived on Mar 31 aboard Cathay Pacific flight CX906, and tested positive at the airport. 


The four others, aged 29, 31 44 and 61, were found infected on their 12th day in hotel quarantine. Two flew in aboard Philippine Airlines flight PR300 and the two others on Cebu Pacific flight 5J272.

Asked about a possible travel ban on the Philippines, similar to the one still currently enforced on the United Kingdom, Chuang admitted the most number of patients found to have the mutated virus, generally categorized as N501Y, had all flown in from Manila.

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But, she said, “There are other factors to consider.”

Chuang says enough measures are in place to stop the variant from spreading

Chuang also said Hong Kong has stringent control measures, like the 21-day hotel quarantine, as well as a negative test result required from all travelers coming from high-risk countries like the Philippines. She also said the highly-feared mutated virus has not been seen in any local case.

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The ban query was raised after the UK announced that it would stop all non-residents flying in from the Philippines starting on Apr 9. Ireland also included the Philippines among the countries where travelers would need to spend their 14-day quarantine in a hotel starting Apr 6.

Data supplied by the CHP in its daily briefings show that in the past two weeks alone, or from Mar 20 to Apr 2, a total of 40 Filipinos had tested positive on, or shortly after arriving in Hong Kong. All except three were found to have the coronavirus variant.

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The biggest number recorded in a single day was 9, which happened on Mar 22. Today’s 6 comes next, followed by the 5 reported on Mar 29.

On Mar 15, another 9 cases were also reported, 5 of them flying in on the same day via CX, which prompted Hong Kong authorities to ban Cathay’s flight from Manila for two weeks.


Meanwhile, one other imported case, a 39-year-old male traveler from Pakistan who tested positive on his 12th day in quarantine, was found to carry the virus variant.

The other imported cases included a 5-month-old baby girl who was confirmed to have the coronavirus  on her 19th day in quarantine. Chuang said previous samples taken from her were not sufficient for testing.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong 

The four remaining imported cases include two FDHs from Indonesia, and one returning resident each from Botswana and Canada.

Of the seven local infections, the sole untraceable case has prompted health authorities to order compulsory testing on Metro City mall in Tseung Kwan O.

This was after investigations showed that the 33-year-old unemployed patient who lives in a TKO village house had bought takeaway food from several restaurants in the mall. A renovation worker who worked and ate in the mall was earlier confirmed to have the virus.

About a dozen people the later patient had played football with will be sent to quarantine.

Chuang said there are several preliminary positive cases, but so far, not a single one was untraceable.

Hong Kong’s total Covid-19 tally as of today is 11,500. As of 9am today, 123 confirmed patients are still being treated in public hospitals. Among them, 3 are in critical condition, 3 are serious, and the remaining 117 are stable.



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