PARAÑAQUE CITY, July 1 (PIA) — The Philippine Embassy in Muscat, Oman aims to have at least 2-3 batches of repatriation each month for Filipinos displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a diplomat on Tuesday.
Philippine Ambassador to Oman Narciso Castañeda in his Laging Handa Public Briefing interview said that the next repatriation schedule is on July 1, which will arrive in Manila on July 2, 2020.
Castañeda said they are currently coordinating with both the Omani and Philippine governments to expedite the approval of two to three repatriation flights per month to reduce the number of those willing to go home and escape the problem of unemployment as a result of the pandemic.
Last week, the embassy assisted in the repatriation of close to 300 Filipinos while preparations for additional flights back to Manila are being arranged.
The first repatriation of overseas Filipinos from Oman due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic took place on June 20, 2020 aboard Oman Air flight WY2843. The flight carried 279 returning overseas Filipinos.
The diplomat also said Filipinos in Oman are far better than other foreign labor workers who are confined in barracks where COVID-19 transmission spreads faster.
“The Filipino Community is not as badly affected by the virus coopered to other nationalities in Oman who are housed in barracks where they living in close quarters with each other,” he said.
Castañeda, meanwhile, confirmed that one Filipino died of infection in Oman who is among nine other COVID-19 positive cases.
He said five of the nine Filipinos with confirmed COVID-19 cases are currently at the intensive care unit, while the rest are recuperating and are in better condition.
The embassy assures Filipinos that the government will continue to offer assistance to Filipinos in distress overseas. (PIA-NCR)