Pinoys in Mynmar urged to go home amid COVID cases spike

July 22, 2021 Cristina Lee-Pisco 119 views

WITH the spike of COVID cases and the lack of adequate medical attention to patients infected by the virus, the Philippine Ambassador to Myanmar urged all Filipinos there to avail of the repatriation flights being mounted by the Philippine government.

The Philippines has already placed Myanmar under Alert Level 4 where all Filipinos are advised to evacuate.

Philippine Ambassador Eduardo Kapunan, Jr., during a Laging Handa briefing yesterday said “the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has already declared Alert Level 4 in Myanmar, meaning we want all the Filipinos to (be) evacuated back to the Philippines.”

Two Filipinos in Myanmar have also succumbed to the respiratory disease, the Ambassador revealed.

The Embassy issued an advisory saying the country’s health care system is close to reaching its maximum capacity and may not be able to provide adequate medical attention to Filipinos who become ill in the coming weeks.

Kapunan said because of the common border with India, the Delta variant is now the prevalent virus in Myanmar.

On July 21 alone, it recorded 6,093 new infections pushing its active cases to 70,070.

The envoy said Myanmar is trying its best to contain the virus but “definitely they do not have enough equipment to face the crisis.”

He explained many health workers who joined the protests against Myanmar’s military junta cannot return to work over fears of getting arrested.

“Marami sa mga health workers, doctors and nurses na sumama sa civil disobedience movement ngayon kahit na tawagin silang bumalik, natatakot sila baka maaresto sila.”

Kapunan cited an instance where a group of health workers who tried to extend help on their personal capacity only to be raided by the military.

“Ang cover ng militar is that COVID victim sila, ‘pag dating doon pinag-aaresto sila so getting back this workforce is I think a little bit difficult.”

Fearing the coronavirus situation might worsen in the coming weeks, Kapunan urged all Filipinos to register for Embassy’s repatriation flights. The first repatriation schedule is set on August 3.

“Mabuti pang umuwi na kayo ngayon habang hindi pa nadi-deklara ng WHO na ang Myanmar ay masyadong malala na dahil ang aabutan niyong quarantine procedure sa Pilipinas might be more stringent than the normal,” he said.

Out of the estimated 500 Filipinos in Myanmar, Kapunan said only about 160 registered for repatriation.