Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the Philippines Abdullah Al Bussairy, have met to discuss the improvement of health access and support services for Filipino migrant workers in the Kingdom amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“[Met] with the ever-helpful Amb H.E. Abdullah Al Bussairy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [with]his Ministry’s help to bring back the remains of our Filipino dead. The difficulty is as much with us—we have few flights and they’re erratic—as it is with their administrative process,” Secretary Locsin said on his Twitter post on Monday.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the two officials also discussed “treatment of the remains of those who passed away due to COVID-19”.
The secretary also assured the ambassador of the department’s continued cooperation with civil aviation authorities regarding the “urgent need to allow the resumption of as many flights as possible” for repatriation given the limited flights between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia, the department said.
The Filipino community in Saudi Arabia is the biggest in the Middle East and “one of the largest in the world”.
As of June 14, DFA figures showed that nearly 3,500 Filipinos in the Middle East and Africa regions had contracted the coronavirus disease, with 1,887 remain under treatment, while 1383 have recovered. There have been 152 total deaths reported so far in the region. (Source: INQUIRER.net)