72 OFWs who died from COVID-19 to be repatriated from Saudi Arabia Friday | Inquirer News
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72 OFWs who died from COVID-19 to be repatriated from Saudi Arabia Friday

/ 08:38 PM August 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The remains of 72 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who died due to coronavirus infection and other health issues will be repatriated from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on Friday, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

DOLE said on Wednesday that this would be the fourth batch of repatriations of deceased OFWs from the same country.  The bodies will arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Friday morning, through a chartered Philippine Airlines flight.

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At least 62 of the dead OFWs have tested positive for COVID-19, while the rest died from other health ailments.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said 40 of the 72 OFWs were based in Al Khobar, 17 were from Jeddah, and 15 from Riyadh.

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He added that top government officials would be present when the bodies arrive, out of respect for the country’s modern heroes who sacrificed their lives to contribute to their families and to the local economy.

Bello said that this has been a practice for the arriving bodies of OFWs who died while working abroad.

“The same respect will be accorded to the arriving OFWs who lost their lives in the KSA in pursuit of a better future for their families and motherland,” Bello said in a statement.

“We are ready for their arrival,” Bello said. “We will continue to bring home our heroes whatever it takes,” he added.

Including this batch, Philippine authorities would have already brought home 264 OFW remains from Saudi Arabia.  This includes the 192 dead migrant workers who brought home on separate occasions last July. [ac]

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