23K OFWs in Kuwait displaced due to pandemic

23K OFWs in Kuwait displaced due to pandemic

Kuwaitis line up to buy LPG fuel amid the pandemic.

MANILA – The Philippine embassy in Kuwait on Thursday reported that around 23,000 Filipino workers have been displaced in the Gulf state due to the economic impact of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

“(Around) 23,000 ‘yung OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) who have been displaced because of loss of jobs or dahil no work no pay sila (Around 23,000 overseas Filipino workers have been displaced either due to loss of jobs or due to no work no pay arrangement,” Charge d’ Affaires Charleson Hermosura said during the Laging Handa briefing.

On the other hand, he said around 5,011 Filipino workers have received the one-time USD200 cash assistance under the Department of Labor and Employment’s Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program.

“The evaluation for the DOLE-AKAP application is ongoing and since the start of the pandemic, through Filipino community leaders and volunteers, the embassy has provided 31,000 food packs to our nationals,” he said in Filipino, noting the donations were sourced from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration as well as individual and company donors.

Meanwhile, Hermosura said around 300 Filipinos were reportedly afflicted with the respiratory illness, 260 of whom have recovered.

Of the Covid-19 tally, he said 31 have died, including four frontline healthcare workers.

Hermosura said the Kuwaiti government is “straightforward” when it comes to Covid-19 deaths which is why the Filipino fatalities were immediately buried at a cemetery in the Gulf state.

“Yung burials po nila doon are held according to the religious tradition of the deceased (Their burials are held according to the religious tradition of the deceased),” he said.

Based on the latest data from the World Health Organization, there are 56,174 coronavirus infections in Kuwait, 396 of whom have died.

Hermosura noted that the embassy is reopening on July 19 after its temporary closure on July 2 when two of its staff members tested positive for coronavirus. (PNA)

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