KEY POINTS

  • Hong Kong's domestic helpers getting coronavirus infection from their employers
  • 13 domestic workers from the Philippines tested positive in Hong Kong
  • Foreign domestic workers need to stay with their employers by law

After the Hong Kong government prohibited gatherings of more than four people to stop the spread of coronavirus, the domestic workers are staying inside. However, many are getting infected by their employers.

According to a CNN report, Jinkie Alhambra followed the government’s guidelines and stayed inside the apartment with her employer. However, the 48-year-old Alhambra from the Philippines was tested positive with the coronavirus.

Foreign domestic workers have to live with their employers, according to the law in Hong Kong. As of now, 13 domestic workers from the Philippines got infected with COVID-19.

Hong Kong has witnessed a rise in positive coronavirus cases after people started returning from abroad trips. Alhambra’s employer returned from India, and after a brief stop in Hong Kong, she went to Canada. The Canadian authorities informed Hong Kong about the employer’s coronavirus status.

Hong Kong government announced that Alhambra and a member of her employer’s family were infected with the coronavirus.

“Two of them (the city's confirmed Covid-19 cases) are associated with an earlier confirmed case in Canada - the case's daughter and domestic helper who live together in Hong Kong. The confirmed case in Canada had been on the tour group to India with five other patients,” the government said in a statement on March 10.

Alhambra is trying to stay positive in these difficult times. She is getting free treatments as well as getting paid, while she recovers from the coronavirus illness.

Meanwhile, the domestic workers enjoy their weekly time off spending time outside following the social distancing protocol, according to South China Morning Post.

Indri Wahyuni, a 32-year-old domestic helper from Indonesia, said that they watch church sermons online as the church remains closed. “We could work on Sunday with salary if we want, but we already work for six days a week and rarely go out. So we want to go out on Sunday to relax. We just have to be more careful with social distancing,” she said.

According to Worldometers, there are 641 active coronavirus cases, and the country reported four deaths due to COVID-19.

Despite its proximity to the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong has managed to stave off a runaway outbreak of the deadly virus Despite its proximity to the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong has managed to stave off a runaway outbreak of the deadly virus Photo: AFP / ISAAC LAWRENCE