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2 infected Filipina DHs from Taipo boarding house spark fear of coronavirus outbreak

14 December 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The two infected Filipinas gathered over the weekend in a Tai Po boarding house

Hong Kong health officials have sought police help in tracking down some Filipina foreign domestic helpers who might have gathered in a Tai Po boarding house over the weekend amid fears the coronavirus had spread among them.

This was after two Filipina DHs who had been to the boarding house in Fung Nin Building, were included in the 82 new coronavirus cases reported today, Dec 14.

The total number of cases rose to 7,624 today while more than 60 preliminary positive cases were reported.

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Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection said in the daily press briefing that the two domestic workers, one aged 36 and the other, 54, had sought medical consultation in a public hospital, where they subsequently tested positive for the virus.

Chuang said she was concerned about reports that there were other FDHs in the Taipo boarding house who may have contracted the disease.

“The two foreign domestic helpers who stayed in the boarding house at the weekend, we are worried that there may be an outbreak there. We found two confirmed cases and we learned there may be a few preliminary positive cases, but I don’t have the details yet,” said Chuang in reply to a reporter’s query.

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“But I understand they are also foreign domestic helpers. So, we are tracing the other possible contacts so we can put them under quarantine,” she said.

She said the authorities are trying to find their employers. The CHP, which confirmed later tonight that both patients are Filipinas, said the younger one lives in Shan Tseng, Taipo and the other in Hung Hom, Kowloon. 

Another Filipina DH tested positive at HK Airport

The cases were apart from two newly arrived FDHs who were also reported infected today. One is a 39-year-old Filipina who arrived on Saturday from Manila, and the other is a 43-year-old Indonesian who flew in from Jakarta

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Three other imported cases were reported, an 8-year-old boy from Canada, a 2-year-old boy from Bangladesh, and a 22-year-old man from Nepal.

Three more Covid-19 related deaths were also reported, the highest daily figure since four infected patients died in one day in early September.

The three male patients, aged 49, 69 and 73, all suffered from chronic illnesses. They brought the death toll to 120.

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Chuang said of the new cases today, 39 were male and 44 were female with ages ranging from 2 to 90 years old. Of the 77 local cases, 37 were untraceable and the rest were linked to existing cases including two from the dance club cluster, which now has 720 cases.

She said there was a new case at Prince Edward West Nursing Home. The patient was asymptomatic and lived in an isolated unit in the building. About 30 to 40 residents of the building were given sample bottles for testing, Chuang said.

There were two more new cases at Cheung Chow Estate Kwai Chung House, raising the overall tally to six or seven patients living in six different units.


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Another case was also reported from the Lohas Park construction cluster, bringing the total to 62; the Shatin Yata Department Store with one more case, taking the total in that cluster to 15; two from the AWE quarantine halls, for a total of 23; and one from the Tseung Kwan O-Lam Tin tunnel works, raising the total to 12.

Dr Linda Yu, chief manager of the Hospital Authority, said that as of 9am today, 64 confirmed Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospital, bringing the total recoveries to 6,266.

A total of 1,126 confirmed patients are being treated in 23 public hospitals and the AWE treatment facility. Of these, 46 patients are in critical condition, 71 are in serious condition and the remaining 1,009 patients are in stable condition.

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Dr Wu Tak-chiu, also from the HA, said in the press briefing that a look at 300 cases in ICUs in public hospital in the past 11 months revealed that about half of them were under 70 years old.

“You might think that only people who are over 70 would be in a serious condition, but actually half of the patients were under 70,” Wu said.

He said patients in the ICU may not have known they had contracted Covid-19 at an early stage. He said when symptoms appear, one should see a doctor immediately as one could be in a serious condition in just a week.

He also advised people to follow the safety rules during the upcoming holidays.

“We have to be extra careful, especially for the Winter Solstice, Christmas and New Year. I suggest we should avoid social gatherings or probably should not take off the mask except for a meal. If we wear a mask everyday, at least we would be safe,” he said.

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