Coronavirus death toll among Pinoys in UAE rises to 27
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (UPDATED) – The number of Filipinos who died of COVID-19 in the United Arab Emirates has gone up to 27.
Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes said that as of Friday, May 8, a total of 23 Filipinos died of the coronavirus disease in Dubai alone – higher than the 17 deaths in the city reported by Ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana on Wednesday, May 6.
Quintina had also reported on Wednesday that there were 4 Filipinos who died of COVID-19 in Abu Dhabi.
The latest deaths among OFWs in Dubai and the unchanged number of coronavirus deaths in Abu Dhabi brought the total to 27 as Friday.
Cortes also said they have been receiving "quite a number" of calls from OFWs seeking help after finding out that they have COVID-19. The consulate coordinates these cases with Dubai police and health authorities.
The OFWs are fetched from their residences and transferred to a hospital. At the same time, contact tracing is done, Cortes said.
While there have been deaths in the OFW community here due to COVID-19, there were also recoveries, among them, 24-year-old video editor Jullian Marimla who tested positive for the virus even if had been staying at home to avoid infection.
Marimla said he still didn't not know how he got the virus.
“We do not have any idea. It could have been from anywhere. We had a hunch we got it from a clinic where my girlfriend had her check-up. Then again, it could have also been from take-aways and food deliveries or groceries. It’s impossible to really tell,” Marimla told Rappler.
“Nowadays kasi, almost all people tao are already asymptomatic. You could not tell who has the virus,” added Marimla who was born and raised in Dubai and whose family hailed from Angeles City, Pampanga.
Marimla said he started to have a fever that went on and off around the second week of April. “I was extremely scared. When I heard about the result, all I could think of was whether I would survive this, how am I going to support my family? What will happen to me now? It was mixed emotions, actually,” he recalled.
Marimla said he would feel weak and tired during the day with muscle pain around his eyes.
“At nights, my temperature would spike to 39 degrees. Dry coughs came after a few days and it eventually worsened to the point that I was having difficulty breathing and I could not speak properly,” he recalled.
On April 19, the third consecutive day of his fever, Marimla said he and a close friend finally went to a hospital for a checkup and test. He was admitted on April 22, and was confined for 10 days. He was on oxygen support and did not require intensive care.
“Then they gave me paracetamol for my fever, and anti-biotics and anti-viraks through IV because they found out that the virus has gone down to my lungs and I have already contracted pneumonia,” Marimla shared.
He said the medical staff took his blood samples every day and swab tests every 2 to 3 days. Marimla was discharged on May 3.
There are around 750,000 documented OFWs in the UAE. – Rappler.com