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PH embassy in Jordan issues advisory about coronavirus verbal taunts

The embassy urged Filipinos to “refrain (from) replying to these taunts” and “avoid any further verbal engagements.”

DUBAI: In the midst of the global COVID-19 scare, the Philippine Embassy in Amman, Jordan yesterday, Sunday March 8, advised the almost 39,000 Filipinos there to refrain from replying to verbal taunts – “Corona! Corona!” – which imply, albeit subtly, thay they are carriers of the novel coronavirus.

Consul General Ferdinand Flores

Consul General Ferdinand Flores told Rappler that one of their staff has ran across such incident, prompting concerns it could be prevalent in the community.

“Our own staff experienced it last weekend,” Flores said.

The advisory, he explained, was meant to put things into perspective and tell the community how to properly address such situations.

“Well, not so much as being called carriers, pero ‘Corona! Corona!’lang,” Flores said when pressed.

The embassy, in its advisory, urged Filipinos to “refrain (from) replying to these taunts” and “avoid any further verbal engagements.”

This, the embassy said, “in the spirit of understanding and unity with the people of Jordan as preventive measures are implemented to address this issue.”

The embassy cited as proof, the assistance it has provided to local authorities in the Filipino translation of an Arabic brochure detailing preventive measures and health guidelines to minimize COVID-19 infections in the workplace.

Flores said Jordan has one coronavirus case.

Elsewhere across the Middle East, Iran has the most number of cases at 5,823 followed by Kuwait at 62; Bahrain at 56; Iraq, 54; Egypt at 48; the UAE at 45; Qatar at 12; and Saudi Arabia, 7. This, according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) situation report 48 issued yesterday, March 8.

Flores said Filipinos in Jordan are employed in the skilled sectors and as household service workers (HSWs).

“Pero mas marami ang HSWs,” he said.

There have been reports about Filipinos being discriminated against in Italy after being mistaken to be Chinese nationals. Italy has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Europe at 5,883.

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