About 3,370,000 domestic workers in Hong Kong come from Indonesia and the Philippines.
Hong Kong has scrapped plans to make the coronavirus vaccine mandatory for foreign domestic workers after the Philippines and labor groups criticized the proposal as discriminatory.
Nevertheless, Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, on Tuesday ordered a further mandatory test for all foreign domestic workers as a “precaution” against more contagious forms of the cornovirus.
Health officials in Hong Kong announced plans and tests last month to vaccinate all domestic workers after two workers tested positive for a more deadly strain of the coronavirus.
Authorities say domestic workers are “high-risk” because they often work with seniors and meet in the park on Sundays, usually have one day off a week and say they want to apply for a work visa – or renew their present – they will need COVID-19 To show that Jab got two doses.
About 3,370,000 domestic workers in Hong Kong come from Indonesia and the Philippines, two countries severely affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Loxin Jr. condemned the proposal, saying the mandatory immunization plan was “discriminatory”.
Labor groups representing domestic workers also said they felt they were being left alone, for the families they worked for – as well as locals working in a care home environment who did not need to be vaccinated.
The groups further noted that wealthy foreign immigrants, such as white-collar financial workers in the city, were not forced to take the vaccine when they detected outbreaks of coronaviruses in their districts.
On Tuesday, Lam said his government had scrapped the plan after officials assessed public health requirements and potential legal issues. He added that the decision was taken after meetings with officials from the Philippines and Indonesia.
Lam added that the second round of compulsory testing for non-vaccinated workers will begin on Saturday and end by the end of May.
“We need to be careful before any possible outbreaks occur, as we have found some infectious covid-19 forms in the community,” he said.
The decision, however, raised new concerns, with a Philippine diplomat warning that it would “not go down well with the community”.
Describing a recent meeting with Hong Kong officials, Consul General Rally Tejada told the South China Morning Post:
Hong Kong has so far received 11,812 reports of coronavirus infections, with 210 deaths.
Adequate protection against the COVID-19 vaccine has been found in the region, but public acceptance has been very low.
So far, only 1 percent of the city’s 5.5 million people have received one or more doses, with 10 to 10 percent considered essential for animal immunity.
Regular polls show that the Hong Kong Kangaroos have the lowest support ratings in the world.
Some Pfizer-Bioentech vaccines in Hong Kong will spend their shelf life in September, and officials are disappointed that they may be in an unimaginable position to drop a good dose.
The government’s lack of public confidence has hampered the vaccination campaign.
After massive democracy protests erupted in 2019, Hong Kong’s unelected leaders – backed by Beijing – have overseen a massive crackdown on dissent in the city.