Filipina DW with COVID-19 ‘in good spirits,’ requests respect for privacy

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PCG team at the Pamela Youde Nethersole eastern hospital

The Philippine Consulate General said on Feb. 19 that the Filipina domestic helper who tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Feb.18 is in “good spirits,” adding that if further tests showed her negative of symptoms, she can be discharged soon.

“The Consulate General had a brief telephone conversation with our kababayan,” Consul General Raly Tejada said. “Her voice sounded normal and she is in good spirits.”

Tejada added that the domestic helper has not further shown symptoms of the virus, which include cough, fever and colds.

“Doctors told her she could be released soon if further tests come out negative,” he said.

The Philippines’ top diplomat also said that the domestic worker asked that her identity not be disclosed.

The PCG was able to get in touch with the 32-year-old domestic worker hours after a team composed of Welfare Officer Virsie Tamayo, Social Welfare attache Elizabeth Dy and Assistance to Nationals officer Arnel Luna tried to visit her on Feb. 18 at the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern hospital in Chai wan.

They were unable to see her, however as she is in isolation.

“She said that she is well taken care of but hospital visits are not allowed given that she is in isolation,” Tejada explained.

Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection said in a press conference on Feb. 18 that the Filipina domestic helper could have been infected with the virus at home.

The domestic helper’s employer is the 52nd case of COVID-19 infection in Hong Kong. The 67-year-old woman had dinner at the Star Seafood Restaurant in North Point with four others on Jan.26. They all tested positive for COVID-19.

Chuang said the 32-year-old domestic worker tested negative initially but a successive CT scan of her lungs showed that she was infected with COVID-19.

“Concerning the foreign maid, the first test was negative.  When the first specimen is taken, it’s quite sometime after the patient’s onset but it may also be due to the specimen taken,” she said.

The domestic helper lives at Mount Parker Lodge in Quarry Bay with her employer.