Ambassador says Pinoys in Thailand ready for possible Philippine travel ban
MANILA — A Filipino in Thailand has succumbed to COVID-19 as authorities struggle to tackle the country's biggest wave of infections so far, an envoy of Manila said on Friday.
Thailand hosts some 30,000 Filipinos, mostly professionals and English teachers, said Philippine Ambassador Millicent Cruz-Paredes.
Thirty Filipinos there have caught COVID-19. Two have yet to recover, 27 have gotten better, while one died this July, she said in a televised public briefing.
“Sa ngayon po ay nakikipagtulungan kami sa kaniyang pamilya kung anuman po ang mga tulong na pangangailangan nila,” Cruz-Paredes said.
(We are helping the family with whatever assistance they need.)
She said more infectious COVID-19 variants have been blamed for an uptick in infections, which started in March.
Thailand reported on Friday a daily record of 9,692 coronavirus infections, taking total cases to 381,907 since the start of the pandemic.
Philippine authorities are studying the possible inclusion of Thailand in a travel ban aimed at warding off the Delta COVID-19 variant.
“Nakahanda na po kami kung anuman ho ang magiging challenges again na magriresulta dito at alam din po iyan ng ating mga Filipino community dito,” said Cruz-Paredes.
“At ganoon din po ang mga airlines sapagkat sa airlines po, sila po ang nakakapag-monitor din ng flow of passengers.”
(We are ready with whatever challenges will result from that and our Filipino community here knows that. That’s goes as as well for the airlines because they are the ones monitoring the flow of passengers.)
Authorities are negotiating with their Thai counterparts so that Filipinos could be included in the vaccination program and extend their stay in Thailand, she said.
The Thailand outbreak was initially fueled by the Alpha variant but 57 percent of recent cases in Bangkok have been the highly contagious Delta variant, officials say.
Thailand has also reported 7 cases of suspected mixed infection with the 2 variants at a Bangkok construction site.
— With reports from Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News; Reuters