HK govt urged to suspend flights from the Philippines and Indonesia following increase in imported variant cases


2nd April 2021 – (Hong Kong) 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded in Hong Kong yesterday of which 8 were foreign domestic helpers from the Philippines and Indonesia, and 6 cases from the Philippines, Nepal and Pakistan carried the “N501Y” variant virus.

Professor Ho Pak-leung, head and Infectious Diseases Centre of the University of Hong Kong, pointed out that the number of imported cases in the past 10 days was high and they were mainly from Indonesia and the Philippines. Ho pointed out that the epidemic in the Philippines has rebounded severely, and the government should review the percentage of recent confirmed cases of Philippine arrivals in Hong Kong, as many of them were variant carriers.

Those who came to Hong Kong with negative test certificates still tested positive upon arrival in Hong Kong. It reflects that the local epidemic situation is serious or the test is inaccurate, the government is urged to consider temporarily suspending arrivals from the Philippines and Indonesia.

Ho tated that if the local variant cases continue to increase, the government should follow the measure implemented last year to suspend arrivals from U.K. last year until the situation becomes clear. He also pointed out that quarantine hotels are not leak-proof. For example, there are also cases in foreign countries where quarantine persons were infected. He pointed out that it is difficult for the government to think about policies at present, so it is recommended that the government consider the policies with reference to the figures.