Philippine embassy in Saudi closes labor office due to coronavirus: OWWA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 17 2020 10:31 AM

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The labor office of the Philippine Embassy in the Saudi capital is temporarily closed after several of its employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration said Wednesday. 

"This is just a suspension of operation. Pero ang serbisyo naman po sa ating mga kababayan ay patuloy dahil mayroon naman pong hindi positibo, karamihan naman po ay negatibo sa COVID," said OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac. 

(Services for our compatriots will continue because most of our embassy workers tested negative.) 

The labor office will remain closed "until further notice." It will "continue to respond to calls, offer consultation services to clients, and provide counselling to OFWs in distress," the embassy said in a statement

Saudi Arabia remains to be the top destination for OFWs. It hosts 22.4 percent of the total 2.2 million Filipino migrant workers worldwide, the Philippine Statistics Authority said in a June 4 press release. 

In Saudi hospitals, sources say intensive care beds are fast filling up and a growing number of health workers are contracting the virus as the total number of cases has topped 130,000. Deaths surpassed 1,000 on Monday, according to an Agence France-Presse report. 

TeleRadyo, June 17, 2020