COVID-19 cases among Filipinos abroad breach 9,000-mark — DFA

Overseas Filipinos infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) breached the 9,000-mark with 21 new confirmed cases Saturday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

There was no record of a new recovery or death from the virus.

As of July 18, total cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among Filipinos abroad is at 9,001 while recoveries remain at 5,321 and deaths at 634.

According to the department, the 21 new confirmed cases were reported in Asia and the Pacific. Of the 9,001 confirmed cases, 3,046 are still undergoing treatment.

Most of the cases were recorded in countries in the Middle East with 6,483 cases.

Meanwhile, more than 90,000 overseas Filipinos have already been repatriated in the country.

A total of 11,688 overseas Filipinos were brought back home this week, bringing the total repatriated nationals to 90,497 since the DFA began its COVID-19 repatriation efforts in February 2020.

Of this number, 44.8 percent (40,540) are sea-based and 55.2 percent (49,957) are land-based, with the most recent repatriates arriving from the Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and USA yesterday.

This week, a total of 31 flights from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Oman were facilitated to bring back distressed Filipinos abroad.

Two of these flights — from Saudi Arabia and Lebanon — were chartered by the DFA using its Assistance-to-Nationals Fund. The flight from Lebanon was the largest single mass repatriation flight for land-based workers in Philippine history.

Seafarers from Canada, Cyprus, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Pakistan, Singapore, and the USA and returning overseas Filipinos from Shanghai, China; Kathmandu, Nepal, Zanzibar, Tanzania, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia completed the repatriates this week.

The latest batch of repatriates,  comprised of 312 distressed overseas Filipinos, arrived in the country Friday from Qatar.

They underwent appropriate medical protocols upon arrival as required by the Department of Health-Bureau of Quarantine. They will also undergo quarantine in accordance with the omnibus guidelines established by the Inter-Agency Task Force.