As the United Arab Emirates makes COVID-19 testing more accessible to its citizens – locals and expats, more and more Filipinos are also testing positive of the virus and fatalities are going up really fast.
Currently, there are 23 Filipino fatalities in Dubai, UAE as confirmed by the Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes. According to Cortes, they have already received a couple of calls coming from OFWs infected with the virus. They are already coordinating with the patients and the UAE government to conduct proper contact tracing, testing, and treatment.
The UAE government provides the hospitalization and treatment of anyone – locals or expats – who will be infected with the disease and it will be free of charge. It is earlier confirmed that there four additional Filipinos who succumbed to COVID-19 in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi.
Currently, the lockdown in Dubai is being eased out and malls, hotels, shops, and restaurants are starting to open. Displaced Filipinos who temporarily lost their jobs could return to work as these establishments start their operation. Cortes also noted that there several Filipinos in UAE who are under the ‘no work, no pay’ scheme. These OFWs are given food assistance from the consulate, from the Filipino community and the Dubai police.
As the pandemic hits the economy of the country, more Filipinos are asking the consulate in Dubai for repatriation. There are currently 1,500 requests for repatriation.