Helpers required to get tests

April 30, 2021

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Government today announced that all foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) staying in Hong Kong will have to undergo testing for COVID-19 before May 9.


Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan made the announcement at a press briefing this afternoon, and noted that the decision was made to cut the invisible transmission chain for mutant strains that may exist in the community.


“The reason why we are testing foreign domestic helpers is because, first of all, this is the second foreign domestic helper that we have identified who has this new COVID-19 virus variant in Hong Kong - not the first one, but the second one.”


The recent case involves a 39-year-old female domestic helper who resides at Tower 11, Carmel Cove, Caribbean Coast in Tung Chung.


A restriction-testing declaration was made at the building on the evening of April 29. As of 3am today, around 950 people subject to compulsory testing had tested negative.


An earlier case also involves a foreign domestic helper who was asymptomatic. She underwent testing at a community testing centre on April 22 and tested positive.


Prof Chan noted that the N501Y mutant strain involved in these cases are highly transmissible and the patient in the latest case had met other FDHs before her infection was confirmed.


“According to some of the contact tracing information, there was some mingling of different foreign domestic helpers.


“So therefore, I think these gatherings or contacts are high risk to a certain extent, given that there may be an incubation period.


“Therefore, for prudence’s sake, we think we should test all the foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong.”


Domestic helpers who have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine for at least 14 days are exempt from the compulsory testing, Prof Chan added.

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