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Tear-gassed OFW already out of hospital

07 October 2019

By The SUN
Paramedics were already at the scene when Palmera lost consciousness 
An overseas Filipino worker who was rushed to hospital yesterday, Oct 6, when she lost consciousness after inhaling tear gas thrown by police at protesters in Wanchai, is already back at her employer’s home in Mid-Levels.

This was disclosed by welfare officer Marivic Clarin, who sought out OFW Joy Palmera, 30, following reports about the incident.

Clarin said Palmera was discharged this morning, Oct. 7,  from Ruttonjee Hospital. Tests conducted earlier  showed the OFW was recovering from the effects of the fumes, but had been coughing. 


Palmera reportedly regained consciousness when she arrived in hospital but for unknown reasons fainted again last night.

Her employers were immediately told about the incident and are reportedly supportive.

The OFW who hails from Davao, had just finished playing basketball in Southorn Playground at around 5:20pm on Sunday when protesters clashed with police nearby.


Officers fired teargas at the protesters who retreated to the playground where Palmera was  hanging out with friends. The OFW who was resting on one side of the playground, suddenly choked after inhaling the fumes. 

Videos taken from the scene showed emergency workers rushing to help Palmera even before she fell unconscious to the ground. They were apparently called when it became obvious the OFW had difficulty breathing.
Unlike her friends, Palmera failed to cover her face to protect herself from the harmful fumes.

One of her friends could be seen in one video trying to stop her being taken away by an ambulance, thinking perhaps that she would be arrested.

Police arrived and fired tear gas after protesters beat up a man in Wan Chai. Photo: RTHK
Tear gas is hurled at protesters during an earlier protest in Wanchai
Sunday was the second straight day of chaos across Hong Kong, which erupted after Chief Executive Carrie Lam invoked her emergency powers and banned the use of masks in public gatherings.

Shortly after the draconian measure was announced, protesters went on a rampage in several hotspots, trashing commercial establishments identified as pro-China, axing ATMs of China-owned banks and setting fire inside MTR stations.

The mayhem resulted in the unprecedented shutdown of the entire railway network the next day.  Up until now, stations near trouble hotspots, including Admiralty all the way to Fortress Hill on the blue line, remain closed.

The entire Tsuen Wan line was also closed from last night after a train crashed against a barrier in Lai King station, injuring eight people. According to Clarin, it appeared no Filipino was among those injured.

Long before the violence escalated between protesters and the police, the Consulate has been issuing regular advisories telling Filipinos to avoid getting close to the demonstration, and even gives a list of places where protests are expected on certain days.

In addition, OFWs are told to refrain from wearing black tops as these are associated with protesters, or white as this is the color often worn by pro-government supporters.
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