Bringing in helpers like ‘walking on thin ice’

Labour chief Law Chi-kwong on Sunday said that bringing in foreign domestic helpers from high-risk places is like “walking on thin ice”, and acknowledged the amount coming into the city was not enough to satisfy demand from local families.

Writing in his blog, Law said that in the past month, about 40 foreign domestic helpers have successfully satisfied pre-boarding requirements and arrived in Hong Kong on a daily basis.

However, Law stressed that the authorities must be cautious and try their best in reducing Covid risks from other places.

He said that a total of 606 Filipino helpers arrived in Hong Kong from August 30 to September 24. As of October 1, 26 of these helpers have been diagnosed with Covid-19, an infection rate of 4.3 percent.

Law said the figure is “very high”, adding that if people still want the government to increase the daily number of arrivals, he has nothing more to say.

In his blog, he said that with the number of foreign domestic helpers in the SAR peaking at 400,000 earlier, and with the current figure of fewer than 360,000, there is a shortage of tens of thousands of helpers.

Law also acknowledged that thousands of families are facing increasing pressure without the support of helpers.