At least 31 overseas Filipino workers living in Kuwait have died of COVID-19, an official of the Philippine embassy at the Gulf country announced today in a virtual press briefing.
Charleson Hermosura, the Philippine Charge d’ Affaires, said, “We have received data that around 300 Filipinos have been infected with COVID-19. It’s sad that there are now 31 who have died, including four Filipino healthcare workers here in Kuwait.”
He said the Kuwaiti government is “straightforward” in managing the deaths of COVID-19 patients, with remains being immediately buried after they have passed away. He added that at least 23,000 Filipinos have been laid off from their jobs in Kuwait, 5,000 of whom have received financial assistance from the Philippine government.
At least 4,000 Filipinos have been repatriated from the Middle Eastern country since March due to the pandemic, he said.
As of today, the Kuwaiti government has recorded 56,877 coronavirus cases in the country, with 399 deaths and 46,897 recoveries.
President Rodrigo Duterte imposed a deployment ban on Kuwait in 2016 following the death of a domestic worker named Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found stuffed in a freezer. After the discovery of Demafelis’ remains, Duterte accused Arab employers of raping their Filipina workers, overworking them, and feeding them scraps.
The ban was lifted two years later after the Philippines signed an agreement with the Kuwaiti government that sought to give better protection for Filipino workers.