Labor chief apologizes to Dubai over report on 'coronavirus' death


Posted at Feb 07 2020 12:41 PM

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. File

MANILA- Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III apologized Friday to the city government of Dubai after saying that a Filipina migrant worker had died of "coronavirus" in the city.

The labor department clarified on Friday that migrant worker Amalia Collado Daproza did not die due to the 2019 novel coronavirus, contrary to earlier reports.

Bello earlier said the Filipina died of "coronavirus" but did not specify what strain.

"Secretary Bello nonetheless wishes to apologize to the government of Dubai for the confusion and whatever anxiety that the announcement may have caused," the labor department said in a statement.

The agency also clarified that results of confirmatory tests conducted by the Pathology and Genetics Department of the Dubai Health Authority on Daproza’s specimen yielded negative of the novel coronavirus.

In a social media post, the Dubai government's media office denied reports the woman died due to nCoV. According to the media office, the woman was suffering from respiratory infection and that laboratory tests showed she "did not have the virus."

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to more severe illnesses such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

A new strain, the 2019 novel coronavirus, has been spreading over recent weeks from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, to other parts of the world, triggering global travel restrictions.