Infection rate of foreign domestic helpers lowers : Law Chi-kwong

Local | 14 Nov 2021 2:59 pm

The proportion of foreign domestic helpers from the Philippines and Indonesia confirmed with Covid-19 has lowered recently, but Hong Kong authorities will maintain a cautious approach in evaluating arrangements for their import, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said.

The two countries have been top origins for imported cases in Hong Kong the past year, but there have been improvements recently, Law wrote in his blog. 

The percentage of foreign domestic helpers confirmed with Covid-19 in Hong Kong dropped to 1.37 percent by the end of October, down from 3.3 percent in early September.

"However, given that only 0.55 percent of vaccinated people from abroad were confirmed with Covid-19 in October, the infection rate for foreign domestic helpers remained relatively higher (than other groups)," he said.

He added that the authorities have been carefully adjusting the number of designated quarantine rooms since the city reopened to helpers in August. 

From December 8, the Courtyard by Marriott in Sha Tin will provide 500 rooms for helpers' quarantine, priced at HK$650 per night.

The hotel will replace the Silka Tsuen Wan – which charges HK$800 per night – as a quarantine hotel for helpers. Silka will be used for other quarantine purposes starting December 1. 

It will serve as a third location for helpers' quarantine, on top of Rambler Garden Hotel in Tsing Yi and the government's quarantine center in Penny's Bay. They charge HK$650 per night and HK$480 per night respectively. 

Law reminded that the employers may still face difficulties in booking quarantine facilities, and are advised to persuade or arrange for their helpers to postpone their vacations back home. It is also suggested that they try to reach an agreement with their helpers, so that they can terminate their old contracts only after new workers arrive in Hong Kong.

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