In line with the rise in cases of measles in the country, particularly among domestic workers entering the state for employment, the government has taken measures to take control of the situation from the ground.
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Vaccinations are among the basic requirements in various parts of the world for many nationalities traveling overseas. However, there seems to be individuals who bypass this requirement, and unfortunately contract the disease when they get exposed to the virus overseas. As measles is a highly contagious infection, it’s important to control the spread of the virus, and the most effective way to control it is through vaccinations.
Hong Kong Extends Measles Test Scheme for Domestic Workers
That being said, the Department of Health in Hong Kong released an announcement on Wednesday (May 15) regarding the extension of measles testing by offering tests for up to 200 Filipino domestic workers at the Immigration Tower in Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island, as shared in a report by Asia Times.
There will be a blood test station set up on the ground floor at the Immigration Tower on Gloucester Road in Wan Chai on Thursday and Friday to provide measles serology testing.
The initiative was seen by residents as an extension of a three-day pilot scheme that the health authority launched at Hong Kong International Airport in late April and early May.
The health department aims to better grasp the overall immunity against measles among Filipino foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong through the said initiative.
Meanwhile, two more cases of measles among staff at a Gucci outlet in Kowloon’s Tsim Sha Tsui were confirmed last Tuesday, which brought up the total number of infections among employees to five cases. Regarding this, the shop earlier closed for business for two days and reopened on Wednesday evening.
More than compliance to job requirements, getting vaccinated should be done out of personal choice and initiative. It is for the reason that workers do not work by themselves, as in the case of foreign domestic helpers who deal with families – usually with an elderly or children in the household.
And as to the case of costing, the government can work out a regulation of some sort to impose the initial cost of getting these vaccinations onto employers as a precautionary measure to control the spread of disease in communities, as pointed above. Also, the Philippine Embassy in Hong Kong has lobbied for mandatory health checks among OFWs based in the country before, and if it could become a law as supported by the Hong Kong government through the collaboration with their health sector, then issues regarding health can be better addressed in the future.