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9th FDH who stayed in Manila agency dorm tests positive for Covid-19

15 September 2020

By The SUN


Nine FDHs who flew in aboard HX 872 on Wednesday are now infected 

A 35-year-old Filipina domestic worker who flew with 12 other recruits of the same employment agency in Manila has tested positive for Covid-19 while under quarantine, and was among four imported cases reported today, Sept 15.

Health Department sources say she came in aboard a Hong Kong Airlines Flight HX 872 on Wednesday, Sept 9, which made her the ninth passenger from that flight to be found with the coronavirus.

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Authorities earlier said five passengers from the flight who were part of a group of 13 Filipina DHs deployed by the same employment agency in the Philippines tested positive on arrival at the airport.

The eight remaining FDHs in the group were put in a quarantine centre, and the next day, three more were found infected after two of them developed symptoms.

The four remaining members of the group remain under quarantine.

Consul General Raly Tejada has identified the Manila agencies as Placewell International Services Corporation and Triple One Human Manpower Services Corp which appear to be operated by one family, and are located on different floors of JMC Centre in Makati.

The counterpart agency in Hong Kong was directed to extend help to the affected workers, but it’s unclear if sanctions would be taken against the recruiters if they were somehow found negligent in ensuring the group’s safety.

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Prior to boarding their flight to Hong Kong, all passengers departing from Manila are required to present a certificate that they were found negative of the virus in a test conducted no longer than 72 hours earlier.

Meanwhile, no local infections were found in Hong Kong today, so health officials skipped the daily press conference on the local Covid-19 situation.

Instead, a press release was issued, indicating four imported cases, including the Filipina DH. The three others were new arrivals from India, Japan, and Rwanda.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

Earlier this morning, members of the Executive Council said in a press conference that $530 million was spent on the two-week long universal community testing which ended yesterday.

CE Lam checking out the Lai Chi Kok centre at the start of universal testing

Officials also revealed that 1.8 million took part in the scheme, from which 42 infections were uncovered.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam rejected suggestions that the result did not justify the huge cost of the scheme.

“The universal community testing programme has made multiple contributions to our anti-epidemic efforts, and it is not easy, or actually it’s not quite right, to reflect or measure these benefits by the unit cost of a confirmed case,” Lam said.

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She said the better yardstick for the success of public health measures is in keeping the people safe.

Health minister Sophia Chan added that thanks to an increase in testing capacity, the government could improve its testing as well as medical surveillance strategies in future.

Chan again warned that a fourth wave of the outbreak could come in winter, so some social distancing measures would have to remain in place.

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