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5 Filipinas stranded at airport fly out today, but 6th tests positive

21 February 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

The stranded group with their rescuers

Five Filipinas who were stuck at the Hong Kong International Airport for two days because of delayed Covid-19 test results managed to fly out today, after the Mission for Migrant Workers stepped in to help them.

Sadly, a sixth Filipina who was with the group tested positive, so the Mission had to get her to an isolation facility where she is now spending the mandatory 14-day quarantine before she can try to fly out again.

According to the Mission’s Janette Carnay, the group led by Luisa B. Parungo sent out an urgent appeal for help yesterday, saying they had been held up at the airport for two days because the swab test result they needed for boarding did not get to them on time.


The Philippines requires all inbound passengers to present a negative result for a swab test taken no later than 48 hours before their flight.

Wala na silang pera kahit pambili ng food,” said Carnay. “While nag a arrange tayo ng pupunta sa kanila, nag positive naman ang isa nilang kasama.”

(They had no money left to buy food. (Then) while we were arranging to get someone to go to them, one of their companions tested positive.”

The women show their gratitude to the Mission for the help

Learning about the positive test of one of the women, Mission’s general manager Cynthia Tellez quickly arranged to send a taxi to the airport so she could be moved to an isolation facility.

Carnay, on the other hand, was dispatched to the airport to give financial help to the group so they could buy some food, and pay for another swab test.

Nag worry na sila nung pangalawang test nila na hindi sila nakakalipad kaya tumawag sa akin,” she said.


(They started getting worried when they still could not fly out after the second test so they called me).

Each swab test at community testing facilities costs $240, an amount that the homebound women could barely afford, much less if they had to pay for it twice. 

At the airport private laboratory Prenetics charges $499 but is able to issue the rest result within hours for departing passengers.

When Carnay got to the airport, some of the stranded women tearfully recalled to her their two-day ordeal. Twice they tried to get on a Cebu Pacific flight, but could not check in because they lacked the negative test result.


Previously, the turnaround for tests taken at the CTCs took only hours, with due regard being given to those who need the result as part of pre-boarding requirements. 

But because of the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, the online booking system is full until early March and those who do manage to get tested do not get the SMS informing them of the result until after a few days.

At least one other Filipina whose result was delayed went back to the CTC in Yau Tong where she had her test last week, only to be told that the result was positive. She ended up sleeping in a nearby park until a group learned of her plight and sent someone to pick her up.

For the group at the airport, it was three times lucky as Carnay said they appeared to have received their test result on time, so they all finally took off in two flights yesterday.

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