DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Forty-three Filipinos in Dubai and the northern emirates have died of COVID-19, while five more have been reported dead in Abu Dhabi, bringing the total at 48 – or 22% – of the 220 coronavirus-related deaths announced by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) on Sunday, May 17.
Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes said the count on the number of Filipinos who have succumbed to the virus started during last month’s sterilization drive.
There were 23 Filipinos who have succumbed to COVID-19 just 10 days ago, Cortes had said in an previous interview.
“Yung 43 (total) ay since the beginning of the COVID lockdown ‘yan,” Cortes said.
The latest Filipino to have died was a high school official. Further details were not available pending notification of the deceased’s immediate relatives.
There are approximately 750,000 documented overseas Filipino workers in the UAE of which some 500,000 are Dubai-based, officials said.
This at hand, Cortes reminded Filipinos that the “virus threat still remains” even with the easing of restrictions. The UAE government started to allow movement of people on April 24. The 24-hour “sterilization” drive started on April 4.
“Keep taking the necessary precautions. The restrictions on the movement of people may have been eased but the virus threat still remains and thus, we would still encourage people to be more cautious and perhaps continue staying home instead,” Cortes said.
He added: “Heed the advice of health authorities — wear masks, gloves, wash your hands frequently, among others.”
Three nurses, two engineers and a community volunteer have been among COVID fatalities.
The nurses were Marlon Jimenea, who died in Sharjah on April 26; Janette Daywan Alano, who died in Abu Dhabi on May 10, Mothers’ Day; and Lezly Ocampo Concepcion, who passed away also in Abu Dhabi on May 12, International Nurses’ Day.
Melchor Corpus Mandac, a community volunteer died in Dubai also on May 12, while Engr. Mario Vilela Mercado succumbed to the virus likewise in Dubai on April 27.
In Abu Dhabi, Ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana had reported to the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) in a May 6 interview that four Filipinos have died in the UAE’s capital city.
According to MoHAP, cases of COVID in the UAE have reached 23,358; total number of recoveries was 8,512. The ministry said there has been six COVID-related deaths for a total of 220 also as of Sunday, May 17.