An officer of the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Hongkong allayed fears that all Filipino Domestic Workers need to present proof of anti-measles shots before their trip.
This was in response to the worries of some Filipino workers who thought they cannot leave or enter Hongkong without proof of immunization.
Source of the Information
A letter was sent on March 28 by Hongkong’s Center for Health Protection (CHP) to employment agencies instructing them to include anti-measles shots as a prerequisite for the medical requirements of foreign domestic workers arriving Hongkong.
This was a result of an increase of people in Hongkong affected with measles from 17 for the whole year of 2018 compared to 30 cases starting this year. Of the total number, 4 cases were from foreign domestic workers (FDWs) who re-entered and contacted the infected when they were back home.
Further, they mentioned the Philippines had 18,407 cases of measles in 2018 nearly an 8-fold increase from the 2017’s figure of 2,428. From January to March this year there were 23,563 reported measles cases with 338 deaths.
To prevent an outbreak, the CHP advised employment agencies to inform employers to ensure that the FDW they will hire has been vaccinated. The immunization consists of two doses of the MMR, measles, mumps and rubella inoculation.
Response of PCG
The PCG denied that there is such a requirement enforced by the CHP. They have not received any notice.
According to Jalilo de la Torre, labor attache, the CHP letter was a recommendation and should not be used to deny entry of a Filipino domestic worker if it cannot be proven that she had been vaccinated. He will confer with CHP officials on the best way to deal with the problem. De la Torre was worried that employment agencies will pass the cost of the shots to workers.
Moreover, receiving the shots would need a wait time of at least a month. Employers should be willing to wait or allow the Filipino migrant to re-enter and get her shots in Hongkong.
Reaction of Employers
From the posts on Facebook, employers started immunizing their domestic workers. They are not taking any risks especially those with young children.
An employer did not allow an FDW to take her vacation leave for fear of the measles outbreak, both in the Philippines and Hongkong.
There were reports that a Filipino migrant was not allowed to leave Hongkong because she had no immunization documents to show. This could be a hoax perhaps a concocted story because there were Filipina migrants who flew home for a vacation without any hassle.
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