With 19th death reported on Saturday by Philippines' health ministry, this Asian country is passing through another emergency period in their attempt to stem the outbreak of the Covid19.
Half of the population is under self-quarantine as the Philippines government imposed strict lockdown in the country. But, the factor which baffling the government is its huge overseas workforce that comes around 10 million Filipinos.
According to the latest government figures, more than two million Filipinos live outside their country as migrant workers. Add in temporary and contract workers, students and permanent residents of other countries and estimates soar to more than 10 million Filipinos overseas. They work in electronics factories in South Korea and as domestic help in Hong Kong and Singapore.
The coronavirus has added a unique level of concern for these people. The Philippine government has repatriated hundreds of workers — including some from Wuhan and elsewhere in China, as well as Hong Kong, Macau and other affected areas.
That cruise ship docked in Japan had 445 of the crew members of the Diamond Princess were Filipinos. Now they’re all in quarantine on a military base in the Philippines, but authorities report no infections in the group.
The concerns about COVID-19 linger in a different way there, in part because of the nature of work done by many citizens of the Philippines.