23 Filipinos die of COVID-19 in Dubai

Published May 8, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Roy Mabasa

The number of Filipino fatalities in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now at 23, Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes said on Friday.

Speaking at the Laging Handa briefing of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID), Cortes said they have received numerous calls from Filipinos who are infected with COVID-19 and immediately coordinated these cases with the UAE authorities for proper testing, contact tracing, and treatment.

Cortes said the UAE government provides free hospitalization and treatment to anyone who will be tested positive of the disease, including Filipinos.

Earlier, Philippine Ambassador to UAE Hjayceelyn Quintana confirmed that four other Filipino nationals died of COVID-19 in the capital Abu Dhabi.

At the moment, Cortes said the lockdown in Dubai is slowly easing and could hopefully pave the way for the return to work of many Filipinos displaced by the outbreak of the pandemic, especially those working in the hospitality sector like the hotels, shops, and restaurants.

He noted that there are a lot of OFWs who are currently under the ‘no-work, no-pay’ scheme and are receiving food assistance from the consulate, the Filipino community, and even from the Dubai police.

Of late, the consulate in Dubai has received around 1,500 requests for repatriation of Filipinos in the area. However, Cortez explained they have to prioritize those with valid tourist or visitors visas that do not require clearances from the UAE government.

On the other hand, OFWs who are still technically employed but want to be repatriated shall be sent back home at the expense of their respective employers.