MANILA— Two Filipinos in India died this week due to COVID-19 as a surge in cases has overwhelmed the country's health care system, the Philippines' envoy to New Delhi said Tuesday.
India hosts about 2,000 Filipinos, about 80 percent of whom are housewives, while “less than 70” are workers “in the managerial level,” said Philippine Ambassador to India Ramon Bagatsing Jr.
“About 20” of them caught COVID-19 and were in isolation. The Philippine embassy tries to deliver supplies to them, he said in a televised public briefing.
“Unfortunately, these last 48 hours, nakakuha kami ng balita na dalawa sa ating mga OFW, as I said these are managerial level people, they have passed away,” Bagatsing said.
“It’s really bad here. But aside from these unfortunate circumstance, more or less, karamihan naman sa kanila ay maayos at nagtutulungan naman ang mga Pilipino dito.”
(Unfortunately, these last 48 hours, we received news that 2 of our OFWs passed, as I said these are managerial level people, they have passed away. It’s really bad here. But aside from these unfortunate circumstance, more or less, most of them are well and Filipinos here are helping each other.)
Filipino authorities in India are “doing everything we can” to bring their remains back to the Philippines, Bagatsing said.
Flights between India and the Philippines connect via the United Arab Emirates. But the Middle East has suspended the transit of travelers from India, he said.
India has ordered its armed forces to help tackle the COVID-19 crisis, as nations including Britain, Germany and the United States pledged urgent medical aid to try to contain an emergency overwhelming the country's hospitals.
On Monday, India reported more than 352,000 new COVID-19 cases, a global record for the rise in daily cases for the fifth straight day, eclipsing even the United States at the height of its pandemic last year. More than 2,800 deaths were recorded over the last 24 hours, an all-time high.
Crowded hospitals are running out of oxygen supplies and beds.
– With a report from Reuters
Video courtesy of PTV