CHP: Employers and domestic helpers must reduce social contact

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CHP reminder: Employers, domestic helpers must work together

The Centre for Health Protection issued a reminder to both employers and foreign domestic workers to “reduce social contact” as much as possible to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected at least 67 people in Hong Kong and killed two.

The CHP on Feb. 19 said that employers and foreign domestic workers must both do their part in minimizing interaction by cutting down on social gatherings.

“To prevent the spread of novel coronavirus in the community, we all need to work together. Reduce social contact to protect yourself and others: stay at home as far as possible; stay away from crowded places; avoid social gatherings; do not shake hands when meeting other people; and avoid meal gatherings,” the CHP said.

The CHP’s post reiterated that employers and domestic helpers must “work together to fight the virus,” a reminder which came following successive cases of infection involving people who went out for social gatherings and have meals together.

These include five individuals who tested positive for the virus after having dinner at the Star Seafood restaurant in Northpoint in late January. One of those who fell ill is a 67-year-old woman who lives in Mount Parker Lodge in Quarry Bay. Her Filipina domestic helper, who also lives with her, also tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb.18.

The CHP said they are trying to trace all the 10 people who got in contact with the 32-year-old domestic worker on Feb.9.

Prior to that, at least 11 family members also tested positive for COVID-19 after having a hotpot dinner in Kwun Tong on Jan.26.

The CHP reminder was also issued as Filipina domestic workers and migrants’ rights activists sought for a more inclusive advisory, following an appeal from the Labour Department which asked foreign domestic workers to stay at home on their rest day. The International Migrant Alliance has decried the advisory as “discriminatory.”

“Together we can fight the virus..not just the helper..not just the employer must be careful…but both,” a Filipina domestic worker, who asked not to be identified, said.