Apologies were sent by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to the Dubai government over his announcement that a Filipina domestic helper there passed due to coronavirus.

According to the local news outlet Gulf News, the Dubai Government media office strongly denied the “validity of statements by the Philippine Minister of Labor regarding the death of a Filipina woman in Dubai due to novel coronavirus.”

“The deceased was suffering from a respiratory infection and laboratory tests showed she did not have the virus,” it says in the report.

However, the Department of Labor and Employment clarified that Bello didn’t mention that the Filipina worker in Dubai passed because of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

“The Labor Secretary on Thursday announced that the OFW had died of ‘coronavirus’ based on earlier information provided (to) his office,” says DOLE. “The secretary, however, did not say it was the novel coronavirus.”

“Secretary Bello nonetheless wishes to apologize to the government of Dubai for the confusion and whatever anxiety that the announcement may have caused.”

Furthermore, DOLE received a belated report coming from the Philippine Labor Office in Dubai with the confirmation test from the Pathology and Genetics Department of Dubai Health Authority stating that the Filipina is negative of the novel coronavirus.

Gulf News reported that they already contacted the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the UN special agency and both denied the Labor secretary’s statement.

WHO said that they “made the necessary contacts with the concerned party who confirmed that the case is not a 2019-nCoV nor a MERS-CoV. The cause of death is pneumonia.”


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