Envoy: 97 Filipinos in Europe test positive for coronavirus
MANILA, Philippines — There are 97 Filipinos in Europe who have tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Philippine Ambassador to Italy Domingo Nolasco said Tuesday.
“Sa buong Europe po, at least 97 ang confirmed cases, kasama na iyong andito sa Italy” Nolasco said in a public briefing.
(In Europe, there are at least 97 confirmed cases and that includes the Filipinos here in Italy.)
Nolasco, however, noted that strict privacy laws have prevented them from getting the exact number of COVID-19 infected Filipinos in Italy alone.
“May mga Filipinos na rin na naapektuhan ng COVID-19 pero dahil mahigpit yung privacy law, hindi namin maibigay,” Nolasco said.
(There are Filipinos affected with COVID-19 but due to strict privacy laws, we can’t give the exact numbers.)
Nolasco said the Embassy was only informed of some positive cases after their family members and employers contacted them.
“Yung iba nalaman na namin kasi tumawag yung kamag-anak, yung iba naman tumawag yung employer sa amin. Pero yung gobyerno hindi sila nagbibigay ng breakdown per nationality,” he explained.
(We found out about some of the cases when their family members contacted us or when their employers called us. But the government does not give a breakdown of nationalities.)
Italy has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases with over 100,000 patients as of March 31. It also has the highest death toll with over 11,000.
Due to restricted movement imposed in Italy, Nolasco said Filipinos there have been requesting for financial assistance since their jobs have been affected by the pandemic.
“Restricted po ang movement rito, pinagbawalan po lumabas ng bahay except kung bibili ng pagkain, gamot at kung emergency case. Pero ang karamihan po talaga sa kanila ay nawalan ng trabaho o nabawasan ang oras ng trabaho, kaya humihinigi po sila ng financial assistance,” Nolasco said.
(There is restricted movement here. People are not allowed to go out of their homes except when they are buying food, medicine or for emergency cases. Many of them lost their jobs or have reduced work hours. That is why they are asking for financial assistance.)
Some, however, have expressed their desire to return to the Philippines, he added.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reiterated that it will give $200 aid to overseas Filipino workers whose jobs are affected by COVID-19.
“Ang ibibigay naming tulong sa mga overseas workers natin kapag sila’y nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa COVID, we proposed to give them $200 each,” DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in the same briefing.
(If overseas workers get jobless because of COVID, we propose to give them $200 each.)
The total number of COVID-19 infection cases worldwide has surpassed 750,000, of which more than 36,000 have died.
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