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52k FDHs turn out on first day of mandatory Covid-19 tests

03 May 2021

By The SUN 

FDH being swabbed inside a mobile testing van 

Hong Kong has reported a record daily high for specimen collection for Covid-19 on the first day of mandatory testing for foreign domestic workers, as two new imported infections were recorded today, May 3.

One of the two new confirmed cases is a 30-year-old Indonesian domestic helper who arrived on May 2 aboard Cathay Pacific flight CX 798 and was detected at the airport.

The other is a 36-year-old male air crew who arrived on Apr 27 aboard RL 9923.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Staff at the Centre for Health Protection said the patient had tested preliminary positive on arrival, and was taken to hospital. However, his infection was confirmed only yesterday.

Both were asymptomatic, and clear of the N501Y variant of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, a government press release issued late on Sunday said an unprecedented  113,000 persons, (more than 52,000 of them FDHs), submitted specimens at 21 community testing centers and 35 mobile specimen collection stations across Hong Kong on May 1.

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As of 6pm Sunday, the results for over 54,000 specimens submitted the day before had come out, and no preliminarily positive result was found.

Hundreds of FDHs, who are mostly allowed to go out only on Sundays and statutory holidays, had queued up outside the testing centers for hours in the past two days, trying to beat the government’s deadline for mandatory testing on May 9.


Sunday was mostly rainy, but it did not stop hundreds of FDHs from lining up for hours at mobile specimen collection sites. Many had complained of feeling hungry or tired from the long wait, but decided to stay put because nearly all CTCs are fully booked up until the deadline.

The demand was so high that the government had to set up an additional mobile collection station at Kowloon Park.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.

A check today, May 3, of the government website for making appointments for tests show that only three CTCs have some slots on or before May 9, and they are all in the New Territories. One in Tsuen Wan, another in Yuen Long, and the third in Tsing Yi.

Sunday queue outside the Ma On Shan testing centre

The government announced on Friday, Apr 30, that all FDHs would have to undergo testing after being designated as a “high risk” group. Others in this category are staff of care homes for the elderly and disabled, as well as restaurant food servers.

In a statement, the government said designating FDHs as high risk was made “solely on public health grounds after detailed risk assessment.”

Among the factors reportedly taken into account were the two recent cases of FDHs being found with the mutant strain which is highly transmissible, and that both had taken part in gatherings with other FDHs during the incubation and infection periods.

The only ones exempted from the compulsory testing are those who had taken both vaccine jabs on or before Apr 25, when the full effect of the inoculation would have taken effect.

Those who are subject to compulsory testing may choose to give specimen samples through any of the following routes:

  1. Visit any of the mobile specimen collection stations (see the list and target groups (if applicable) at for testing;
  2. Make a prior booking or walk in at any of the 21 CTCs in several districts (for the full list, see;      
  3. Obtain a deep throat saliva specimen collection pack from any of the 121 post offices, vending machines set up at 20 MTR stations or 47 designated general outpatient clinics (GOPCs) of the Hospital Authority (HA) and return the specimen to one of the designated specimen collection points (see the distribution points and times, and the specimen collection points and times, at
  4. Undergo testing at any of the GOPCs of the Hospital Authority as instructed by a medical professional of the Hospital Authority;      
  5. Arrange for testing provided by private laboratories which are recognised by the Department of Health (DH) and can issue SMS notifications in respect of test results (see the list at;
  6. Use a specimen bottle distributed to the relevant specified premises by the Centre for Health Protection (if applicable), and return the specimen bottle with the sample collected as per relevant guidelines.



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