DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: The number of Filipinos who have died in the UAE due to COVID-19 has further increased to 55 — or 24% of the total 233 as of May 20 — of which 48 were in Dubai.
There were additional 5 Filipino deaths recorded in four days from May 17, Sunday, when the figure was 43, according to Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes.
Cortes, on May 8 or just two weeks ago, said there were 23 Filipino deaths due to COVID-19 in Dubai and the neighboring Northern Emirates at the time.
The numbers point to a sharply increasing incidents of COVID-related deaths among Filipinos in Dubai.
Cortes urged Filipinos to “keep calm and have faith that all these will pass.”
“We hope our nationals continue to heed the advice of healthcare professionals and the UAE government on taking precautions relative to the spread of the virus. Remain home and don’t unnecessarily go to public places,” he said.
“Remember (that) the movement restrictions may have eased, but the virus has not abated. Keep calm and have faith that all these will pass and we become an even more resilient race. May these challenges highlight our humanity,” Cortes added.
There are approximately 500,000 Filipinos in Dubai.
A medical records clerk and transcriptionist, who died on May 19, was the third COVID-19 fatality since May 6 in Abu Dhabi when Ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana reported 4 deaths at the emirate to the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), bringing the total to seven.
Adding the seven deaths in Abu Dhabi to the 48 brings the total number of Filipino deaths due to COVID at 55.
Dr. Amna Al Shamsi, official spokesperson of the UAE government, said there were 233 COVID-related deaths in the country as of May 20 following the death of six more in a day. There were three deaths reported by the UAE government on May 19; four on May 18; six on May 17 and another four on May 16.
Meantime, the figures on COVID-positive patients who have recuperated offer a glimmer of hope. According to the UAE government, 11,809 patients have fully recovered from COVID-19.
The government also said there were 26,004 COVID-19 cases in the UAE. Over 43,732 additional tests have been conducted which resulted in the detection of 941 new cases, the government said.
Among Filipinos who have died in Dubai was Marvin Cruz Santos, who lived in Satwa and had been jobless since March 15, 2020.
According to his cousin, Jun Cruz de Guzman, the deceased started having fever in April but was able to hold it back with medications.
“Kaso, after a week or some days ay nakaramdam po uli sya ng sakit at hindi na makahinga. May 7, 2020 ay isinugod na nga sya sa hospital at in-admit sa ICU,” de Guzman said.
He said they suspect his cousin got the coronavirus after going to a grocery store in Satwa. He said Santos had his mask on at the time.
Santos passed away on May 20. He was 43 and he left behind a wife and three children, according to de Guzman.