Philippine labour secretary apologises to Dubai govt. for nCoV blunder


Philippine Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III apologized to the government of Dubai, UAE, for the “confusion” and “anxiety” his announcement might have caused, after it was reported that he announced that a Filipino worker had died there of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on February 02.

A senior official at the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention immediately denied the claims about the deceased Filipina and confirmed that all coronavirus-positive cases in the country are in stable health condition.

The Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) said that Bello attributed the death of overseas worker Amalia Collado Daproza to the coronavirus “based on an earlier information provided his office.”

“The secretary, however, did not say it was the novel coronavirus. Nonetheless, the Secretary wishes to apologize to the government of Dubai for the confusion and whatever anxiety that the announcement may have caused,” it said.

Confirmatory tests done by the Dubai Health Authority on Daproza, an office worker, showed that she was negative for nCoV but that she suffered from a “respiratory infection.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) also confirmed that the Filipina did not die of coronavirus infection.

“We made the necessary contacts with the concerned party who confirmed that the case is not a 2019-nCoV nor a MERS-CoV. The cause of death is Pneumonia,” a WHO representative told Inquirer. (Source: