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HK may stop home quarantine for OFWs as woman arrives with virus from Mla

28 June 2020

By The SUN
Today's case is the 7th case in a week of someone arriving from Manila with the coronavirus 

A 39-year-old woman who just arrived from Manila tested positive for Covid-19 today, Jun 27, becoming Hong Kong’s 1,197th case.

Records from the Centre for Health Protection shows the woman, likely a domestic worker, had stayed in the Philippines from Dec 23 last year until she arrived in Hong Kong yesterday.

She was taken directly from the AsiaWorld-Expo testing center to Princess Margaret Hospital in Kowloon for treatment. She was asymptomatic.

The new patient is the seventh new arrival from the Philippines who tested positive in Hong Kong within the past week alone. Most of them were apparently FDWs as they didn’t have any listed address in the city.

But many of the new imported cases in Hong Kong involve residents arriving from Pakistan. In one day alone last week, 29 new arrivals from Pakistan were found infected, and two days later, 16 others also tested positive.

The big number of infected patients who test positive on arrival from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh has prompted the Hong Kong government to put them in quarantine centers pending the result of their Covid-19 tests.
In the case of Filipino migrant workers, however, the practice has been to let them spend home quarantine with their employers. 

But with the recent spike in the number of newly arrived overseas Filipino workers who test positive on arrival, the government now says it may stop employers allowing the helpers to spend their quarantine in their homes.
Home quarantine rules: Filipino DHs may soon not be allowed to do this anymore

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said in an interview with reporters today that his office is in talks with the Department of Health to add a condition to the quarantine orders for FDWs that they are not suitable for home quarantine.

“Because we have seen in the last month, Hongkongers coming back from the Philippines have a 0.65 per cent infection rate,” he said.

Pindutin para sa detalye
Using employment agency estimates that up to 10,000 domestic workers might arrive from the Philippines in the next few weeks, Law said that could mean an additional 65 new infections among them.

“If they are to be quarantined at home, then there will be a pretty high chance of them spreading the virus in the community,” Law said, but did not make reference to pre-quarantine tests made at the airport, which led to the early detection of cases among the new arrivals from Manila.
Law ruled out putting up the migrant workers in quarantine centers, as what a group of employment agencies suggested last week. He said there will not be enough room in the quarantine facilities, but the Labour Department would provide employers with information on cheap hotels.

At present, Hong Kong has three quarantine centers which could accommodate up to 2,323 people, but this number will soon be reduced by more than half as the largest facility, the Chun Yeung public housing estate in Fo Tan, will stop operating as such in July.

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