Photo: Migrant Worker died of Covid19 in Dubai
*Bello says Saudi wants Philippines to bring home remains of over 280 Pinoys -
*Saudi Arabia asks PH to bring home bodies of deceased OFWs -
*No last goodbye for Gulf migrant workers lost to pandemic -
Bello says Saudi wants Philippines to bring home remains of over 280 Pinoys
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Saudi Arabia wants the Philippines to bring home the remains of 282 Filipinos there, including 50 who succumbed to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said on Sunday.
In an interview on TeleRadyo, Bello said Saudi King Salman gave the Philippines 72 hours for the repatriation of the cadavers, but Manila would opt to bury the COVID-19 fatalities there.
The agency and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will charter 3 flights for the remaining bodies, he said.
Sen. Richard Gordon, who chairs the Philippine Red Cross, said the OWWA conveyed to him the concern about the cadavers as well, and the need to repatriate some 5,000 Filipinos there who lost their jobs.
"Kaya susulat ako kay Prince Abdullah na Chairman ng Red Crescent ng Saudi Arabia. At ipagdasal ninyo na sana makuha natin, matulungan tayo, at mapauwi yung mga taong iyan," Gordon said on TeleRadyo.
Malacañang also expressed its deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the 282 OFWs who died in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia asks PH to bring home bodies of deceased OFWs
Saudi Arabia asked the Philippines to bring home the remains of over 200 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) – 50 of whom died due to the coronavirus – by Wednesday, June 24, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Sunday, June 21.
"We received communication from King Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and they gave us 72 hours to bring home our dead. 'Yun ang problema natin (That's our problem), there are about 282 of our dead OFWs. Ang pinakamasama diyan (What's worse is), 50 of them died of COVID-19," Bello said during an interview with DZMM.
No last goodbye for Gulf migrant workers lost to pandemic
Before coronavirus "people would come here, around 200 to 250, to grieve and bring flowers. Now they die alone," he told AFP.
The majority of the 166 deaths and 26,600 registered cases in Gulf countries so far have been foreigners, according to health ministries, most of them from Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines.