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Filipina helper confirmed to have Covid-19, another is preliminary positive

24 May 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The Filipina DH confirmed to have the variant visited the Central promenade for 2 Sundays

A 46-year-old Filipina domestic helper found to be carrying the N501Y variant was confirmed today as Hong Kong’s only new coronavirus case.

She took the total Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong to 11,834. The source of her infection is still unknown, health officials said.


Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection, said in today’s press briefing that the source of infection of the Filipina, case No.11834, is still unknown.

Her case was uncovered in the second round of mandatory testing for all foreign domestic helpers. 

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Another Filipina DH has also tested preliminary positive, along with a Pakistani construction worker, and officials are said to be still investigating whether they’re imported cases as both recently returned from abroad.

Chuang said today’s confirmed helper returned to Hong Kong on Apr 3 from Pakistan, where she had traveled with her former employer’s family since early February.

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Upon arrival, she tested negative and went to the Ramada Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel in Sai Ying Pun for her 21-day quarantine, which she completed on Apr 23.

She stayed from Apr 24 to 29 in the flat of her former employer at 31 Tai Wong Ha Resite Village on Tsing Yi before moving into her new employer’s house on Tower 6 of Island Harbourview in Tai Kok Tsui.


The block was locked down overnight so residents could be tested for Covid-19. But no one among the more than 700 people living there was found to carry the virus.

The employer, her three family members and another foreign domestic helper in the house all tested negative, said Chuang.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

“The CHP official said the Filipina went to hospital on May 21, but specimen taken from her tested negative while her antibody was positive. We will look through the information to see whether it’s an imported case,” Chuang said.

The Filipina’s daily activities involved taking the child to the bus station to go to school, she said.

On May 9 and 16, the patient went with some friends to the Central and Western District Promenade Central section. Also on May 16, she went to World-Wide Plaza to send money home. Both places have been placed under compulsory testing notice.

Two kindergartens attended by the employer’s child, Man Sang and Yau Choi, will also be disinfected as a result of the helper’s infection, Chuang said. 

So far, there are 266 N501Y cases and 100 L452R cases in Hong Kong, she said.

The nurse is believed to carry remnants of the Sinovac jab she helped administer

Meanwhile, a nurse listed as preliminary positive yesterday was probably not actually infected with Covid-19, said Chuang. Instead, the traces of the coronavirus found in her upper respiratory tract could have come from the Sinovac jab she was working with.

The 61-year-old nurse had been helping administer the vaccine at the Kwun Tong Sports Centre in Jordan.

Chuang said tests showed the strain of the virus found in the nurse was the same as the inactivated one found in the Sinovac vaccine, and not a strain currently circulating. The nurse’s viral load was also low.

“While drawing the vaccine, there may be some remnants in the vaccine syringes. This may cause some contamination in the environment through aerosol,” Chuang said.

Chuang said health authorities will wait for the result of the genome sequencing test to further determine if the nurse got her infection from the vials. In that case, she will not be added to the total tally as she is not infectious.

In the meantime, the nurse’s close contacts will have to stay a few more days in the quarantine center while authorities decide on her case.

As for today’s preliminary cases, both are said to have a high CT value, meaning their viral load is low. Both cases have yet to be classified as either local or imported.

The Filipina who is preliminary positive arrived in HK on Mar 20

The Filipina helper, who is 37, lives with a three-member family in a village house in Ma On Shan. She arrived from Manila on Mar 20 via a Philippine Airlines flight, and stayed in a hotel for her quarantine.

Chuang said all the tests done on the helper during her hotel stay were all negative, as was her latest test on May 9 during the first round of compulsory testing for all FDHs.

But she was found infected when she took the Covid-19 test again yesterday, May 23.

All her employer’s relatives who visited the standalone Ma On Shan house will be tested, as well as the helper’s relative and fellow FDH who she met on May 9 and 16.

The other undetermined case is a Pakistani male construction worker who returned to Hong Kong in March, Chuang said.

CHP staff have been unable to reach the Pakistani worker to get more information as he may be at work where he’s unreachable, like in a tunnel, said Chuang.     

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