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Another Indonesian DH infected as Covid-19 cases drop to 33

11 August 2020

By Daisy CL Mandap

Indonesians, like all other FDWs, are forced to stay in cramped dorms while waiting for new work visas

An eighth Indonesian domestic worker who had stayed in a boarding house was among 33 new Covid-19 cases reported by Hong Kong health authorities today, Aug. 11.

According to Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection, the Indonesian helper took care of at least three elderly people before she was found infected.

Between Jul 16 and 23, she reportedly helped a fellow maid look after an elderly woman in Shau Kei Wan.

Between Aug 3 and 6, she stayed in her new employer’s house in Chung Yeung Mansion in Tai Kok Tsui, where she looked after two more elderly people. 

In between, or from Jul 23 to Aug 3, she stayed in a dormitory on the 9th floor of Cheung Hing building in Mong Kok, along with about 10 other domestic workers. It is unclear who was running the place.

While in Chung Yeung Mansion, she developed symptoms subseqently, so her employer took her for testing and moved her to Chung Kin building, also in Tai Kok Tsui. She tested positive yesterday.
Chuang said the source of the helper’s infection is still unknown. The CHP is reportedly checking on her previous employer, while all her close contacts will be quarantined and tested.

She is the eighth Indonesian DH to have been included in the infected list since Aug 5, when the first patient who stayed in four different hostels, was reported.

Yesterday, four Indonesians who all stayed in a Tsuen Wan dormitory run by the David Cheung employment agency, all tested positive for the coronavirus disease.
The string of cases sparked fears of contamination in packed dormitories, prompting the government to announce that it would conduct tests on all FDWs staying in agency-run hostels.

But it is unclear if the targeted testing, which should have started last Sunday, has actually begun.
It's unclear if testing of all FDWs in agency-run shelters such as this has begun (RTHK photo)
Among the cases noted today were those that occurred at Hung Yu Mansion on Castle Peak Road in Kowloon.

According to Chuang, after a cluster of infections were found in two blocks of the estate, specimen samples were handed out to residents, and many new patients with no symptoms were found, including a cleaner.

Two new cases were also linked to Kwong Wah hospital, including a male nurse who had runny nose but continued to work until yesterday. His wife who also works in the hospital, has been classified as close contact, and will be quarantined.

Another nurse in the E7 ward of the hospital tested preliminary positive. She lives in a building where there is a confirmed case, and the Hospital Authority is checking whether her infection is related to Kwong Wah.

Because of the continuing infections in the hospital, the CHP has asked an infectious disease expert from the University of Hong Kong to investigate.

Chuang reported only one imported case today, a seafarer who had flown in from India via Doha in Qatar.

Although the number of cases has dropped significantly from last week, Chuang urged caution, saying there were still about 50 preliminary positive cases today.

Also, about half of the 32 local cases were of unknown source, indicating that there could be a lot of asymptomatic patients moving around in the community.

The continuing rise in the death toll, mostly involving the elderly, is also causing concern.

According to Sara Ho, chief manager of the Hospital Authority, two more deaths were reported over the past 24 hours, which raised the total toll to 58.

But 125 other patients recovered and were discharged, for a total recovery figure of 3,052.

There are now only 988 patients still confined in 18 public hospitals and the treatment facilities in  Lei Yue Mun and the AsiaWorld-Expo. Thirty-two of them are in critical condition, 61 are seriously ill, and 895 are stable.

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