Eight domestic workers in one household recover from COVID-19 with their employers’ support

Image title

Bryan Apostol with some of his co-workers pre-pandemic period

Hong Kong, now in its 5th wave of COVID cases, is facing an unprecedented number with almost daily five-digits for weeks including hundreds of Filipino domestic workers.

Eight out of nine Filipino domestic workers working in the same household were infected with the COVID-19 virus during this period.

Bryan Apostol, one of the eight FDWs who had been working for their employers for almost two years said that during his day off, on Feb. 13, he started to feel an uncomfortable feeling in his throat. When he went back to his employers’ place, he stayed in his room with a temperature that rose to 40 degrees and felt chills. The following day, he tested positive for COVID-19 using the rapid antigen test (RAT).

He said their employers asked all of them to take PCR tests at the community testing center and as a result, eight of them tested positive with the coronavirus. They immediately informed their employers of the results.

Apostol said that they were surprised when their employers asked them to stay on the first floor of the two-story house, while their employers stayed on the second floor.

Their employers provided them with RAT kits, oxygen test kits, paracetamol, and vitamins. Lots of fruits were also provided to them. For their meals, their employers ordered online, delivering them lunch and dinner. He said that they have a fully-stocked pantry of bread and coffee that they have for breakfast.

Other than maintaining the lifestyle provided with the complete support of their employers, Bryan said that they also practiced what Filipinos do when infected with COVID, drinking ginger tea (salabat) and steam inhalation (suob).

Even after seven days had passed and they were all tested negative, their employers did not ask them to work but instead requested that they continue to rest for 14 days (the usual quarantine period).

Apostol said that they were lucky to have kind employers who support them even during these times.