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Wear red to protest ‘discriminatory’ Covid-19 tests, migrant leaders say

11 May 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

AMCB joined local activists on May 9 in protesting the mandatory tests 

Migrant leaders are calling on their fellow foreign domestic workers to wear red this Sunday to show their anger at the Hong Kong government’s decision to require all of them to get tested for Covid-19 again.

The call was made by officers of the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body in a hurriedly arranged press conference today, May 11, to show anger at the government’s move. The color is meant to stand for R(resist), E (exclusion) and D (discrimination), says the group.


Chief Executive Carrie Lam earlier announced the second round of tests from May 15 to 30, describing it as a precaution to ensure the more infectious strain of the virus does not spread in the community.

AMCB spokesperson Dolores Balladares blasted the move as a “clear singling out and a clear discrimination” against migrant domestic workers.

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“Are they thinking that we are virus carriers?,” Balladares asked.

She also criticized the poor handling of the previous round of tests from May 1 to 9, which led to long queues at testing centers on the first two days of the exercise, as they fell on a statutory holiday and a Sunday, respectively.

Balladares says singling FDWs for the tests suggest that they are seen as virus carriers

A record 52,000 took the Covid test on May 2, but many of those who had it that day complained of lining up for hours, during which they got hungry and were exposed to the elements.

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Anticipating another deluge, AMCB leaders armed with bottles of water and biscuits, toured testing sites on May 9, the last day for complying with the order, but found many of them near-empty.

It turned out most of FDWs had already taken the test in the days before. By the end of the nine-day compulsory testing, 340,000 FDWs were found to have complied with the order, while a further 40,000 were exempted for being fully vaccinated.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.

Despite their near-full compliance, the FDW leaders are angered that the government is again telling them to take tests.

“This is ridiculous and unacceptable,” said Balladares.

Sringatin asks why migrants are not consulted on a matter that affects them the most

Another AMCB leader, Sringatin, asked why they, who are the ones directly affected by the order, have not been consulted by the government beforehand.


“Why not consult migrant domestic workers?,” Sringatin asked. “Why not (test) employers and their family members? What are they trying to prove? Why punish us (alone)?”

She called on fellow migrant workers to wear red on Sunday in a show of protest over the government’s imposition.

But non-compliance is out of the question, as a fixed penalty ticket of $5,000 is issued to violators. They could also lose their jobs if they are prosecuted for resisting the order.

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