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1 Filipina and 2 Indon DHs among 14 new Covid-19 cases

15 November 2020

By The SUN 

All 3 FDHs tested positive at HK Airport

Three foreign domestic workers – one Filipina and two Indonesians – were among 14 people confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus today, Nov 15. Nine of the cases were imported, and the rest were local transmissions, including one with unknown source.

They brought to 5,459 the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, a number of civic groups staged a protest today to denounce the mandatory Covid-19 testing scheme announced yesterday by the government, saying it violates human rights and freedoms.

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The protesters, who included health service practitioners and civil society leaders, said the compulsory tests could also deter people from seeking medical help, as the new law gives doctors the power to require suspected Covid patients to get tested.

Under the law published yesterday, residents deemed to be from high-risk groups may be compelled to take a test starting today, or face a fixed penalty of $2,000. If they continue resisting, they could be prosecuted and face imprisonment for up to six months, and a maximum penalty of $25,000.

Various civic groups protest mandatory Covid testing (RTHK photo)

According to information from the Centre from Health Protection, the Filipina, aged 36, was asymptomatic when she arrived on Cathay Pacific flight CX906 on Friday, but tested positive yesterday.

The two Indonesians domestic workers, aged 25 and 35, who arrived on Cathay Pacific flight CX 796 from Jakarta on Friday, also tested positive at the airport, and were taken straight to the hospital.

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The six other imported cases also included two seafarers, one 45 years old who arrived from Poland, and a 23-year-old from Russia. The rest were all returnees – a 35-year-old woman from Hungary; a 47-year-old woman from Bangladesh and a 33-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates- who all arrived on Friday, as well as a 29-year-old man from Germany who arrived on Oct 31.

The only case with unknown source among the five local infections was a 49-year-old man from Shing Wai House, Sun Tin Wai Estate, Sha Tin who had a fever on Nov 6 but was found infected only yesterday.

The four other local cases with links to previous infections included two women aged 29 and 52, both from Hong Yun House, Tsz Hong Estate in Wong Tai Sin, who showed symptoms on Nov 11. They were linked to a 58-year-old man from the same address and was confirmed positive Nov 14.

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The third linked case was a 72-year-old man from Tai Po, whose infection was traced to a 68-year-old woman who was confirmed positive on Nov 14.

Another was a 63-year-old woman from Mong Kok who lived in the same house as a 65-year-old man who was confirmed positive on Nov 13.

As of 9am today, seven Covid-19 confirmed patients were discharged from hospital in the last 24 hours, the Hospital Authority said. So far, a total of 5,194 patients with confirmed or probable infection have been discharged, the HA said.

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A total of 113 confirmed patients are in 20 public hospitals. Seven of them are in critical condition, two in serious condition and the remaining 104 in stable condition.

Hundreds lined up to get themselves tested at the Yuen Long testing centre (RTHK photo)

Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Paul Chan and Secretary for Food and Health Professor Sophia Chan, writing in separate blogs today, both set a target of zero daily local Covid-19 infections even as they warned of a Covid-19 fourth wave coinciding with the winter flu season.

Paul Chan said the threat of an invisible transmission from some infected patients who may not show any symptoms continues, so people must choose between going to a test and risking a persistent outbreak.

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He said “the reality is that a persistent outbreak is not good for the economy, people’s livelihood, as well as small businesses and workers. We must make an uneasy choice.”

He said a key factor to stabilize the economy was allowing people to resume traveling freely between Hong Kong and mainland China as soon as possible.

Sophia Chan defended mandatory testing, said Hong Kong had to bolster virus prevention measures to avoid a double whammy from a fourth wave and winter flu.

The call for people to submit themselves to a Covid test appeared to resonate with many.

Hundreds of people reportedly lined up on the opening day today of four community testing centers in Yuen Long, Yaumatei, Shatin and Quarry Bay, even if they had to pay for the service.

But some people said they were hoping that the $240 test fee would be lowered, while others complained about having to go back to the centers the next day to collect their results, unlike in the past when it was sent by SMS.

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