overseas Filipinos

Filipinos in Indonesia share aid amid COVID-19 surge – envoy

Michelle Abad
Filipinos in Indonesia share aid amid COVID-19 surge – envoy

SURGE. An ambulance passes near a roadblock during the delivery of a patient suffering from COVID-19, as cases surge in Depok, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia on July 13, 2021.

Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters

At least four Filipinos in Indonesia have contracted COVID-19, says Ambassador Leehiong Wee

Filipinos in Indonesia are supporting each other amid an alarming COVID-19 surge in the country, according to Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Leehiong Wee.

In an interview with Teleradyo on Wednesday, July 14, Wee said the Filipino community is holding fundraisers, and sending food, medicine, and financial help to their countrymen in need.

Indonesia, the Southeast Asian country with the most confirmed coronavirus cases, is battling what a senior minister had described as the country’s “worst-case scenario” COVID-19 situation.

The country is now deemed Asia’s new COVID-19 epicenter after its daily new cases surpassed India’s. On Thursday, July 15, Indonesia recorded its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases with 56,757 new infections.

The Philippines banned travel from Indonesia on July 14. However, overseas Filipino workers can come home through certain repatriation programs.

According to Wee, there are about 6,000 to 8,000 Filipinos in Indonesia – mostly teachers, professionals, and factory managers.

‘Active’ community

Wee said their latest information was that at least four or five Filipinos in the community are hospitalized due to COVID-19 in different parts of the country. 

“The embassy is doing its best to help them out,” he said.

Wee also said most of the Filipinos in Indonesia are part of the Viber and WhatsApp groups facilitated by the embassy, and are “very active.” 

They began organizing their own fundraising drives to help Filipinos who contract the disease.

Philippine officials have advised the community to stay home, keep safe, and stay healthy. Filipinos and their families are availing of vaccinations from their employers as the private sector has been importing vaccines as well.

Only about 5.8% of Indonesia’s population of 270 million have been fully vaccinated. – with reports from Reuters/Rappler.com

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Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a multimedia reporter at Rappler. She covers overseas Filipinos, the rights of women and children, and local governments.