Hundreds of FDWs queue up for compulsory Covid-19 tests

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Lines for mobile Covid-19 testing grew long in Chater Road in Central on Sunday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Hong Kong Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Unions)

Scores of foreign domestic workers lined up before mobile testing stations across Hong Kong over the weekend following the government’s order to screen all 370,000 helpers for Covid-19 by May 9.

The slight rains did not deter the FDWs from getting tested in Central, Mei Foo, Causeway Bay, and Tsuen Wan—where the Labour Department and the Food and Health Bureau set up testing centres to accommodate the demand.

Some migrant workers also staged protests against the government order, as well as its plans to require vaccination among FDWs before their visa application documents will be processed.

Advocacy groups hit the order for singling out FDWs, but the government argued it was based on risk assessment.

Philippine foreign affairs minister Teodoro Locsin Jr. also called out the Hong Kong government’s new policy, saying it can “do better than that.”

“Though the effect is good and saving, still marking them out smacks of discrimination and if it is a special favor, it is unfair to other nationalities,” Locsin said.

Locsin said this in response to Consul General Raly Tejada’s remark that Hong Kong did not consult consulates of countries supplying domestic workers to the city.

The city confirmed two Covid-19 infections on Sunday, bringing the city’s coronavirus caseload to 11,785. Both of them were from Indonesia and tested positive while under quarantine.

Flights from Turkish Airlines departing from Turkey will also be barred from landing in Hong Kong from May 3 to 16.  The ban was imposed after three passengers who boarded the carrier’s TK083 flight on Apr. 27 tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival at the airport.

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