107 Filipinos in Saudi Arabia who died of COVID-19 to be buried there
MANILA, Philippines — The remains of some 350 three Filipinos in Saudi Arabia are for disposition, but 107 of them who died of COVID-19 will be buried there, Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto said Monday.
“Ngayon po, meron po tayong naitala na total na 353 human remains for disposition, 107 po dito ang COVID-infected and 246 po yung non-COVID,” Alonto said during a televised briefing.
(We have recorded a total of 353 human remains for disposition, 107 of which are COVID-infected and 246 are non-COVID.)
“I understand the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease) already made a pronouncement na COVID-related deaths natin will have to be buried here in Saudi Arabia, yun po yung narinig ko at napakinggan ko earlier,” he added.
(I understand the IATF already made a pronouncement that our COVID-related deaths will have to be buried here in Saudi Arabia, that’s what I heard earlier.)
Alonto added that Saudi Arabia authorities mandate that remains of COVID-related deaths be buried within 72 hours upon the time the embassy or consulate was informed.
(Saudi authorities issued a requirement and regulation that if the death is COVID-related, the body should be
Most of the deaths that are not related to COVID-19 were due to “natural causes,” while some were “crime-related,” Alonto said.
Alonto explained that it took a while to process the repatriation of the Filipinos’ remains whose deaths were not related to COVID-19 due to the nearly three-month lockdown in Saudi Arabia which limited the movement of the public.
“Alam niyo po nung nagkaroon po tayo ng almost three months lockdown dito, walang gumagalaw, walang lumilipad. Nagkaroon po tayo ng backlog. ‘Yun po yung largely naging cause. Even up to now, the flights are very limited,” Alonto said.
(We had a lockdown of nearly three months, no movement, no flights. We had a backlog. That’s largely the cause. Even up to now, the flights are very limited.)
Earlier, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said there are 282 remains of Filipinos in Saudi Arabia that are for disposition, but 50 of them who died of COVID-19 will be buried there.
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