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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The COVID-19 death toll among Filipinos in Dubai and its neighboring northern emirates has continued to rise, reaching 43 on Sunday, May 17, from the previous toll of 23 on May 8.
Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes, who provided Rappler with the numbers, urged Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) not to be complacent and continue heeding the advice of UAE health authorities.
Besides Dubai, the consulate also has jurisdiction over Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah. Dubai has the most number of Filipinos at approximately 500,000.
Among the Filipino victims are 3 nurses, two engineers, a community volunteer, and a high school official. (READ: Overseas warriors: Up close with UAE’s Filipino nurses during the pandemic)
For nearly 3 weeks starting April 4, Dubai was put under a 24-hour sterilization drive, with people required to have permits to go out for essential needs like groceries and medicines.
The UAE government started easing restrictions on movement on April 24, the start of the month-long Ramadan.
Cortes reminded Filipinos that the easing of restrictions does not mean the coronavirus outbreak is over.
“Keep taking the necessary precautions. The restrictions on the movement of people may have been eased, but the virus threat still remains, and thus, we would still encourage people to be more cautious and perhaps continue staying home instead,” he said. (READ: Bayanihan in Dubai: Filipinos help OFWs in need amid pandemic)
He added: “ Heed the advice of health authorities — wear masks and gloves, wash your hands frequently, among others.”
Test, test, test
Total COVID deaths across the UAE has reached 220, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) said in an official announcement. There are 23,358 cases of the virus so far, with 8,512 recoveries.
The ministry said it has conducted over 40,000 additional COVID-19 tests using state-of-the-art medical testing methods.
There are approximately 750,000 documented OFWs in the UAE. – Rappler.com