Only 274 dead OFWs from Saudi to be repatriated

Published July 1, 2020, 3:33 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

From 301, the remains of dead overseas Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia that will be brought home in the country are now down to 274.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR. / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Wednesday revealed that some of those who died, particularly of COVID-19, were already buried in Saudi.

“Twenty three of the 152 who died of COVID were already buried. It was permitted by the next of kin,” he said during the Laging Handa press briefing Wednesday, July 1.

On Tuesday, Bello said they received a notice from Saudi that they buried three more from those who died of COVID-19.

“So we are talking of only 129 OFWs who died of COVID. As to the 149 who died of natural causes, four were already repatriated by their relatives,” he said.

“We are talking only of 274 (dead OFWs). We need to repatriate their remains by July 4 or the Saudi government will already bury them,” added Bello.

The Labor chief said as of now they are doing their best to meet all the health protocols and requirements including the permission of the next of kin of the dead OFWs.

“We have to get all of these and try to bring them by July 4,” Bello said.

He also explained the procedure that will be followed in handling the remains, particularly those who died of the coronavirus.

“According to the standard of the World Health Organization, the body of the one who died of COVID will be placed in a body bag that has been disinfected. It will then be sealed before being placed in casket that has been disinfected also. It will then be sealed again. That’s how strict the protocol is,” Bello said.

“Once here, from the airport, it will be brought to the crematorium for cremation because the recommendation of the Department of Health is if a person died from an infectious disease, the body should be cremated within 24 hours,” he added.

 
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