Remains of 72 OFWs from Saudi who died of COVID-19, other causes arrive home
MANILA, Philippines — The remains of 72 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Saudi Arabia who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and other causes arrived home on Friday.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), 62 of the 72 deceased OFWs flown to Manila through a chartered flight died because of COVID-19. The remaining 10 died of other causes.
Of the repatriated remains, the DOLE said 40 came from Al Khobar, 17 from Jeddah, and 15 from Riyadh.
“Three more bodies of OFWs from Riyadh, that were not accommodated in the chartered flight, were brought home also yesterday onboard a commercial PAL flight. They died of non-COVID causes,” the department added.
Upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City, the remains classified as COVID-19 cases were immediately brought to nearby crematoriums while the rest were transported to their respective provinces at government expense.
“We’re doing this not just because it’s our duty. This is the government’s way of paying respect and giving recognition to our modern-day heroes’ valuable contribution to the growth of the Filipino families and the country,” DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.
This latest repatriation batch brings to 267 the total number of deceased OFWs repatriated from Saudi Arabia.
The latest figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs show that over 10,000 Filipinos abroad have contracted COVID-19.
Of this number, 6,080 have recovered while 3,219 are still undergoing treatment.
There are 742 reported deaths.
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