COVID-19 claims lives of 23 Filipinos in Dubai
Twenty-three Filipinos in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have died after contracting the highly contagious new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Paul Raymund Cortes, the consul general to Dubai, did not say how many Filipinos in Dubai have tested positive for COVID-19.
“We have 23 Filipinos who died of COVID-19. That’s just here in Dubai. Although Dubai has eased its lockdown a little, we still have many countrymen who are on no work, no pay,” Cortes said.
The diplomat made the remarks in a Laging Handa public briefing on Friday.
Cortes assured the public that they are monitoring the health condition of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who tested positive for COVID-19.
“We’re keeping track of their health and well-being. So far, many are recovering from this disease,” he said.
16,240 confirmed cases
Data from the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center showed there are 16,240 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the UAE.
There are around 650,000 Filipinos in the UAE, considered to be the second most preferred destination of OFWs in the Middle East.
Cortes said they had been receiving calls from OFWs in Dubai who tested positive for COVID-19. The Philippine consulate there coordinates with the Dubai police and health authorities to bring them to hospitals for treatment and to conduct contact-tracing.
He said around 1,500 Filipinos expressed their interest to be repatriated to the Philippines.
He noted that some of those wanting to be repatriated still had active work contracts, and that UAE laws require that employers should be the ones to send their employees back to their own countries.
“We are prioritizing those with tourist visas or visit visas because these visas do not need extra clearance before being sent home. Once the flights resume, we will arrange for their repatriation and their quarantine facilities back home,” Cortes said.
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